Aireon and EUROCONTROL sign agreement to enhance air traffic flow management in Europe

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Space-based ADS-B will help EUROCONTROL provide improved predictability in the European ATM Network and develop applications to contribute to the improvement of capacity, operational efficiency, environmental impact supporting sustainable growth in aviation

Aireon and EUROCONTROL announced today they have signed a 10-year agreement for the provision of space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data. This will enhance flow management capabilities across EUROCONTROL’s 41 European Member States and two Comprehensive Agreement (CA) States contributing to improving predictability, capacity, environmental impact supporting sustainable growth throughout the European region. It will also support other applications, such as crisis management, contingency management, environmental monitoring, performance monitoring, expanded datasets for post-analysis, traffic statistics and safety-related assessments.

With Aireon’s high-integrity, high-quality data, the EUROCONTROL Network Manager will have the ability to work with information from beyond the European airspace,” said Eamonn Brennan, Director General, EUROCONTROL. “Full integration of Aireon space-based ADS-B data will allow us to be more accurate in our trajectory predictions and ensure higher levels of safety, predictability and efficiency in our flow management operations. This partnership is the latest development in our effort to ensure European airspace is one of the most dynamic and efficient in the world.”

Aireon data will be integrated into the EUROCONTROL’s enhanced tactical flow management system (ETFMS), which provides data to European aviation stakeholders, regardless of operational borders, in real time. Space-based ADS-B data will enrich ETFMS’s complex traffic demand and slot allocation calculations, which currently rely on ground-based surveillance data and flight plan processing systems. As a result, Aireon’s data will support Europe’s primary flow management system to be more accurate in its trajectory predictions and unlock an otherwise unavailable operational capacity.

Spanning 43 countries from Turkey to Ireland, Finland to Portugal, EUROCONTROL’s Member States and CA States between them encompass over 11.5 million square kilometres of terrestrial airspace, as well as part of the airspace over the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Baltic. Having been nominated as the Network Manager (NM) by the European Commission until end 2029, EUROCONTROL is driving a coordinated and technologically advanced approach to the challenges faced by the European air traffic network. Helping address the improvements that are needed in operations, cybersecurity, service provision, crisis management, airspace design, utilisation and more, EUROCONTROL provides support and expertise to air navigation service providers (ANSPs), airlines, airports and military partners in the region to help make European aviation, safe, synchronised, efficient and environmentally friendly.

In 2019, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified Aireon as the first-ever provider of aircraft surveillance-as-a-service. Additionally, Aireon has the only global, single-source dataset available to the industry. For EUROCONTROL, this means that once the service is integrated into its systems, it will have unprecedented visibility into the full picture of aircraft arriving, departing and crossing over Europe over an area of six flight hours and 3,000 nautical miles around EUROCONTROL Member States.

EUROCONTROL is a leader in air traffic flow management. They are the first customer to use Aireon data well beyond their own area of responsibility. This will enable them to maximise the effectiveness of their processes and procedures by including long-range arrivals and neighbouring States into their capacity and demand measures,” said Don Thoma, CEO, Aireon. “EUROCONTROL recognises the global value in connecting ANSPs through a common, high-fidelity, global data source that provides situational awareness of actual aircraft position information. We look forward to the benefits all EUROCONTROL customers will see in the near, medium and long-term.

Aireon’s data will also be integrated into EUROCONTROL’s new system called iNM, which will implement incremental updates to all of EUROCONTROL’s operational systems and digital infrastructure in the course of this decade.

MCLEAN, VIRGINIA/BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 28 February 2020

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