Controllers are working to scrap the Organized Track Structure routes across the North Atlantic Ocean, ending a decades-long practice of aircraft management in favor of more efficient routings.
Space-based ADS-B aircraft monitoring has permanently changed the way airplanes cross the North Atlantic Ocean. Planes can now fly closer together, allowing more aircraft to operate on the fastest and most environmentally friendly routes.
A long-awaited joint venture takes shape and live television takes flight on another fleet. Plus more legroom on a ULCC and better aircraft tracking in India.
India’s rapidly growing air traffic will soon be better tracked and managed thanks to a new partnership with Aireon.
Inflight safety services communications have a new data network. Inmarsat announced today that the FAA approved its Swiftbroadband-Safety (SB-S) solution for support of air traffic services, delivering a link between air traffic control (ATC) and pilots via Inmarsat’s global L-band satellite constellation.
It took a review of additional data but Transport Canada now joins the global collection of aviation regulators that grounded the Boeing 737 MAX. That additional data came from satellite-based aircraft tracking provider Aireon, and Transport Canada is not the only regulator with the details.
After nearly three billion dollars invested and eight successful launch missions the Iridium NEXT constellation is nearly complete. In just a couple weeks the final swaps will take place and the full complement of 66 NEXT satellites will be online. For Iridium the milestone brings a dramatic shift in business plans and economics. CEO Matt Desch is clear that reducing CapEx is a key near-term goal and that the company will remain focused on its niche markets, "If we can offer that service at 22-100kbps with a very small antenna that can be installed into a small drone or an automobile or a sensor in the ocean, that will expand the market tremendously. That is not a market that anyone is talking
about. We believe Iridium NEXT and Certus is best positioned to deliver on that." But he also makes clear that neither of those plans is truly absolute. Expect to see Iridium "bleed into some things" that don't truly fit the mold. Inflight services is one vertical where Certus will likely disrupt the status quo.
Aireon’s space-based ADS-B tracking will know the location of every commercial aircraft. More important are the operational improvements it will bring to life.
A big win today for aircraft monitoring and safety: Space-based ADS-B operator Aireon secured a $69 million investment from UK’s NATS to help fund operations. And the biggest winner might be Iridium, the satellite operator hosting the services.
Iridium has a target date for its 5th launch of Iridium NEXT satellites. With that event the company aims to pick up the pace, speeding towards completion of the new constellation.