Aireon to Offer ADS-B Aircraft Tracking for Free

 - October 6, 2014, 2:45 PM

The Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (Aireon Alert) network, a free service expected to be rolled out in 2017, will allow rescue agencies to request the location and last flight track of any 1090 MHz ADS-B-equipped aircraft anywhere in the world, including remote or oceanic regions not covered by ATC surveillance. Aireon Alert will become operational as the company’s newest generation of ADS-B receiver-equipped satellites begins orbiting the earth in early 2017. The key element of the Aireon Alert system, according to Aireon CEO Don Thoma is “that it provides accurate and real-time tracking data immediately to authorized search-and-rescue operations, without requiring airlines to equip aircraft with new avionics or the ANSPs and authorities to deploy new systems.” Soon after controller communications with an aircraft are lost, Aireon Alert will provide historical track data that will be available to pre-authorized users, including air navigation service providers, airlines and search-and-rescue authorities. The system can also provide real-time tracking of aircraft in distress, provided ADS-B transmissions are still operational. Aireon says it will talk to the system’s stakeholders over the next year to define more clearly the technical, operational and legal details of providing the data in emergencies.