Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Aireon to begin analyses into the use of space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) as an additional layer of security. 

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B concept of operations is completely independent of traditional ground-based services.

SANS Board chairman Abdullah Alsuweilmy said: "Deploying space-based ADS-B is an opportunity to optimise air traffic flow, while reducing the current separation minima and providing significant airline benefits.

"Space-based ADS-B will also help us increase safety for all aviation stakeholders and the flying public."

With the use of the space-based ADS-B data, SANS expects to extend its capabilities for real-time air traffic surveillance throughout the entire region. 

"Deploying space-based ADS-B is an opportunity to optimise air traffic flow, while reducing the current separation minima and providing significant airline benefits."

Deployment of the Aireon system will enable the availability of position data of aircraft equipped with ADS-B technology regardless of terrain below or ground infrastructure. 

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By GlobalData

Aireon CEO Don Thoma said: “With Middle East air traffic growing at a significant pace, SANS is actively seeking new ways to improve safety and efficiency.

"Our operations and engineering teams will diligently work on a concept of operations that provides an analysis of the value and benefits that 100% surveillance can bring to their airspace. We look forward to deploying space-based ADS-B in Saudi airspace in the near future.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected in the 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast that the Middle East will see an additional 244 million passengers a year on routes to, from, and within the region by 2035.