Airservices is the latest air navigation services provider to look at a space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) from US-based Aireon.
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Airservices and Aireon was announced on Tuesday and allows the pair to “collaborate to examine the value of space-based ADS-B”, Aireon vice president Cyriel Kronenburg said in a statement.
“Also, by gaining a better understanding of how Aireon’s system will improve operations, they will also be able to consider the savings that the service may provide.”
ADS-B is an air traffic surveillance technology that enables aircraft to be accurately tracked by air traffic controllers and other pilots without the need for conventional radar.
Aireon said it was working to create a platform capable of tracking ADS-B equipped aircraft around the globe in real-time via satellite by 2018.
The company said it was currently in collaboration with UK NATS, the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, Airports Authority of India, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Blue Med Functional Airspace Block, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Airways New Zealand and Isavia on the subject of space-based ADS-B.
Airservices executive general manager for air traffic control Greg Hood said: “We are interested in examining how space-based ADS-B could potentially be used in the future and will work with Aireon to determine the potential safety benefits of the technology and efficiency benefits it may offer for our customers, especially for oceanic services and in cross-boundary coordination with our neighbours.”
“There is potential for space-based ADS-B to offer value not only to Airservices, but for all of our customer airlines, airports and search and rescue teams and we are keen to explore that in further detail.”
The Australian government has mandated that ADS-B, which is a satellite-based technology enabling aircraft to be accurately tracked by air traffic controllers and other pilots without the need for conventional radar, by February 2 2017.
Figures from Airservice showed 99.5 per cent of all commercial flights in Australian airspace at or above 29 000 feet were ADS-B equipped. Meanwhile, more than 60 per cent of Australia-based Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) aircraft were fitted with the technology.