Aireon and the Irish Aviation Authority have begun accepting “pre-registration” for their newly developed Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (Alert) service, an ADS-B-based tracking system that provides exact position reports on aircraft in distress or experiencing loss of communication. Available free of charge to air navigation service providers (ANSPs), aircraft operators, regulators, and search-and-rescue organizations, the system will start operating in the first quarter of 2019 from the IAA North Atlantic Communications Center in Ballygireen, Ireland, according to Aireon.
The partners said the service will for the first time allow for precise position data for an aircraft in distress over the oceans, remote areas, and anywhere else on the planet they might need aircraft position information in an emergency. “As long as an aircraft is broadcasting on 1090 MHz ADS-B, we will be able to locate it anywhere worldwide,” noted IAA chief executive Peter Kearney. “This is a unique and secure cloud-based service, designed to the highest data protection standards.”
The partners stress that users of the service do not need to be customers of either Aireon or the IAA. Once a stakeholder has registered and received approval for Aireon Alert, it can contact the operations facility to obtain the last known position of its aircraft at any time. The report includes a map of the last 15 minutes of flight, with one plot per minute and a four-dimensional report including altitude, latitude, longitude, and time information. Based on the situation, the Alert service can provide further tracking information, said Aireon.