Aireon and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) have completed a service delivery point factory acceptance test (FAT).

The test revealed that IAA’s service delivery equipment, which helps collect global air traffic surveillance data, meets rigorous performance standards.

The FAT is the next step towards the installation of space-based ADS-B in Irish airspace, as well as Aireon’s aircraft locating and emergency response tracking (ALERT) service, which is hosted and operated by the IAA.

"This is a major step in ensuring a secure and safe connection between Aireon’s system and the IAA."

IAA ATM Strategy and Operations director Peter Kearney said: "This first milestone marks a significant advancement for the IAA in deploying space-based ADS-B in Irish airspace.

"This also moves us one step closer to rolling out Aireon ALERT to the world’s aviation stakeholders and search and rescue organisations.

"With the success of the Factory Acceptance Test, we are moving towards providing this free public service for registered aviation stakeholders – with real-time tracking data – the likes of which have never been available globally to the industry before.

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"Our engineering team is rapidly working to ensure that Aireon ALERT will be fully operational in when it’s time to go live in 2018."

Aireon ALERT will provide global coverage, as well as GPS location and real-time tracking data, to help rescue coordination centres during emergencies.

Aireon Engineering chief technology officer and vice-president Vincent Capezzuto said: "IAA is a globally recognised leader of air traffic management services, one of the key Aireon launch customers and also the host of Aireon ALERT.

"This is a major step in ensuring a secure and safe connection between Aireon’s system and the IAA."

The FAT verified the system functionality and assembly of Aireon’s ALERT service, as well as measured its related hardware design elements.