Five years after the mysterious loss of Malaysian Flight MH370, Aireon, a worldwide satellite-based tracking and air traffic control system is poised to virtually eliminate any chance of it happening again. The system, which consists of ADS-B receivers carried on a constellation of low earth orbit satellites owned by Iridium, will be able to track any aircraft emitting a signal anywhere on earth. The last of 75 new satellites were successfully launched in January and Aireon, which is majority owned by Nav Canada, took over control of the ADS-B equipment last week.
“Now that we have full control over every ADS-B payload in orbit, we are just weeks away from going live with the Aireon system,” said Dennis Diekelman, Aireon’s Senior Director of Program Management. Aireon’s business plan is to sell access to the system to air traffic control service providers to replace or augment their current systems. It will go live with transatlantic and polar routes in a few weeks. Aireon will also offer free access to its monitoring data to search and rescue organizations if aircraft go missing.