‘Lights on across the Atlantic’

Mark Broadbent reports on a revolution in air traffic management: real-time tracking of flights across the North Atlantic

APRIL 2019 saw the initial deployment of the first and only global space-based ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) coverage in air traffic management.

The technology, provided by Aireon, is now in use by the air navigation services providers (ANSPs) Nav Canada and NATS to manage air traffic travelling across the North Atlantic. This means that for the first time the position of ADS-B-equipped aircraft flying over the North Atlantic is known accurately in real time.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington DC, Aireon Chief Executive Officer Don Thoma said: “This is an historic achievement on a par with some of the most significant advancements in aviation. It will immediately improve the way air traffic is managed and how aircraft are flown.”

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