A global transformation is about to take flight across the aviation industry, and Iridium innovation is once again leading the way.


In air traffic surveillance, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems are the recognized next-generation standard. However, today’s land-based surveillance systems cover only 10% of the Earth’s surface. With more aircraft taking to the skies every year, there is a growing critical need to extend the benefits of ADS-B across the entire planet.

For the first time ever, air traffic management agencies around the globe will be able to continuously track aircraft in near-real time — anywhere in the world — including over oceans and remote regions where coverage is simply not currently possible.

Only Iridium has the reach and truly global capability to make this happen.

Aireon LLC, a subsidiary of Iridium Communications Inc., will deliver this revolutionary surveillance capability to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and their commercial airline customers around the world through a visionary, space-based solution that will seamlessly integrate with terrestrial air navigation systems.

In a joint venture that brings together Iridium and NAV CANADA, with support from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and suppliers Harris Corporation and ITT Exelis, Aireon’s new service is expected to deliver improved visibility, optimal use of flight lanes and air space, fuel savings, reduced Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and safety enhancements to commercial airline operations around the globe.

With Aireon℠, Iridium is taking the promise of commercially hosted payloads to another level. Aireon’s extraordinary design will use space-qualified ADS-B receivers built into each of Iridium NEXT’s 66 next-generation low-Earth orbit (LEO) cross-linked satellites to enable this transformative global capability — starting as early as 2017.

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"We view Aireon as a global platform for air traffic surveillance." - Don Thoma, CEO and President of Aireon