Iceland’s air navigation service provider (ANSP) Isavia has signed a data services agreement to deploy Aireon’s space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) service across the Reykjavik Oceanic Control Area (OCA) in Europe.

The ADS-B service will offer increased redundancy to existing terrestrial surveillance resources in the southern part of the Reykjavik OCA airspace.

For the first time ever, the Aireon service will also deliver real-time surveillance and tracking capabilities in the region, extending to the North Pole.

Isavia Air Navigation Services director Asgeir Palsson said: “Aireon is already working with our colleagues at Nav Canada and UK NATS to introduce this capability for oceanic crossings in the North Atlantic.

"Isavia will soon have the ability to track a flight across the entire polar region, in real-time, an unprecedented capability in the history of aviation."

“We had initially signed a memorandum of agreement to ensure the benefits would be realised, not only with safety, but also efficiency.

“The benefits speak for themselves, and we are working closely with our North Atlantic neighbours. We anticipate optimising the 160,000 flights that use our airspace every year.”

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By expanding the ADS-B service area, Isavia intends to improve safety, and efficiency of operations over more than 5.4 million km² of airspace.

Aireon Aviation Services vice-president Cyriel Kronenburg said: “We will also be working closely with Isavia to test the impact of real-time surveillance in the North Pole.

“Isavia will soon have the ability to track a flight across the entire polar region, in real-time, an unprecedented capability in the history of aviation.”

The Iceland ANSP will conduct flight trials in polar airspace in order to assess the expected benefits of previously unavailable surveillance in the polar airspace.