Airways New Zealand, Aireon agree to South Pacific operational validation trial

Aireon LLC has signed an agreement in principle with New Zealand´s air navigation service provider (ANSP), Airways New Zealand, to enter into an operational validation trial, the company said.

This agreement will pave the way to a formal operational validation agreement allowing for the development of operational concepts for air traffic management in South Pacific airspace and long-range flow management procedures to major New Zealand destinations. These operational concepts will be based on the use of space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data to leverage the efficiency and safety benefits of a global air traffic surveillance capability.

This agreement comes 20 months after the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Aireon and Airways to execute a benefits analysis for deploying space-based ADS-B in their region. Airways also plans to use Aireon data to determine the best configuration of planned terrestrial-based ADS-B installations, augmented with space-based ADS-B, to ensure the most cost-effective use of the designated infrastructure.

Aireon´s system will be operational in 2018, upon completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. The service will provide ANSPs with global air traffic surveillance and airlines with real-time flight tracking. It is expected to help reduce fuel costs, increase safety, and enable more efficient flight paths.

In partnership with ANSPs from around the world, NAV CANADA, ENAV, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon is developing an operational, global, space-based air traffic surveillance system expected to be available by 2018.

Airways New Zealand is a commercial ANSP that operates in New Zealand as a state-owned enterprise (SOE). The company monitors key aviation infrastructure around New Zealand and manages more than 1 million traffic movements per year into and around New Zealand´s 30 million square kilometres of airspace. Airways also provides air traffic control and engineering training, and has delivered air traffic management, flight yield revenue management solutions, navigation services, and consultancy in more than 65 countries.