Satnews Daily
November 30th, 2016

Adding ADS-B Through An Airy Agreement

Starting in 2018, SITAONAIR airline customers with ADS-B Out equipped aircraft will have access to 100 percent global flight tracking data, in real time, through SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker product, thanks to Aireon LLC, FlightAware and SITAONAIR—this new partnership will provide SITAONAIR’s airline customers with Aireon’s space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data.

This partnership also means that airlines already using SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker product will automatically begin seeing the new AireonSM data appear in their systems without the need for new avionics or for aircraft modifications. Additionally, prospective customers can be up and running to receive the new data in as short as one week. The Aireon data will be delivered to SITAONAIR via FlightAware, which provides a secure streaming data feed of flight positions and flight status data via a combination of worldwide air traffic control data, ground-based ADS-B, and aircraft datalink information.

Currently, AIRCOM® FlightTracker is an ACARS and terrestrial surveillance-based system that provides regular flight position updates and requires no modification to aircraft.  The solution works by gathering data from multiple global sources, complementing active Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Future Air Navigation System activity with additional automatic dependent surveillance-contract connectivity. The addition of Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data will for the first time provide 100 percent global coverage in real time, thereby resolving all data feed coverage gaps that may remain.

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system will offer a global solution that works for ADS-B Out equipped aircraft everywhere.  Currently, operators engage in a costly, time consuming process of indexing all their aircraft, noting what types of equipment each had installed.  With various ADS-B Out mandates passed by ANSPs and industry governing bodies around the world, operators will automatically know that their aircraft are properly equipped.

According to Paul Gibson, the portfolio director, AIRCOM® at SITAONAIR, the addition of Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data is a perfect evolution and will allow the company to help airlines achieve truly global flight tracking in a cost-effective way, by making use of the pre-existing ADS-B capability on aircraft of all shapes and sizes, without the need for additional avionics. The partnership with Aireon and FlightAware helps further establish SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker as an innovative, cutting-edge and value-add solution for airlines and strengthens SITAONAIR’s positon as a leader in safety-related IT and communications products and services for the industry.

FlightAware Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Baker, added that the ability to add Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data to SITAONAIR’s existing and proven tracking solution will allow aircraft operators to go from either no oceanic or remote position updates, or 15 minute updates, to minute-by-minute updates, all accessible with no additional avionics required.

Aireon Vice President of Aviation Services, Cyriel Kronenburg, stated that both SITAONAIR and FlightAware are industry stalwarts and this partnership shows how industry leaders can come together to create a more cost-effective, simple to implement and more efficient flight tracking capability than ever before possible.