Air navigation service provider (ANSP) Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) along with Aireon has concluded a service delivery point site acceptance test (SAT) with an aim to deploy space-based automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) systems in Irish airspace.

The test has confirmed the ability of IAA's service delivery point, a component that receives global air traffic surveillance data, to process Aireon's space-based ADS-B data.

With the completion of the test, the IAA is also planning to implement Aireon aircraft locating and emergency response tracking (ALERT) service from its North Atlantic Centre in Ballygirreen on the West Coast of Ireland.

"Aireon ALERT will greatly assist airlines, search and rescue agencies, aviation authorities and ANSPs during emergency situations."

Planned to be operational by 2018, Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system will also be used to boost ground surveillance sensors by contributing to IAA’s air traffic management automation platform.

Once implemented, Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system will enable IAA to increase its surveillance in 5NM and 3NM airspace.  

Irish Aviation Authority air traffic management (ATM) operations and strategy director Peter Kearney said: “Our team in Ballygirreen is also simultaneously getting ready to deploy Aireon ALERT to provide aviation stakeholders with free emergency tracking of aircraft.

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"Aireon ALERT will greatly assist airlines, search and rescue agencies, aviation authorities and ANSPs during emergency situations.

“Aireon ALERT will offer precisely the kind of service being sought by ICAO, IATA, airlines and other aviation bodies to help locate missing aircraft as fast as possible.”

IAA is further planning to increase its use of a space-based ADS-B in its automation system amidst increasing European regulation requiring the use of ADS-B transponders on commercial aircraft.