ATM Modernization, Commercial

FAA Approves Iridium for Oceanic ATC

By Tish Drake | July 11, 2011
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Iridium Communications said Monday FAA will authorize aircraft operating in oceanic airspace to use its satellite data service for critical air traffic control communications.

The authorization marks the completion of the FAA process evaluating aircraft flying in airspace under its jurisdiction to use Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A over Iridium (FOI) to meet communications requirements for air traffic control. Iridium said it is "an important milestone in providing corporate and commercial aircraft a cost-effective alternative for implementing FANS 1/A communications." The result will be more efficient operations, less fuel burn, and fewer emissions.
“Iridium is a natural choice for aviation safety communications because of our high reliability, global coverage, small, lightweight hardware and the significant cost savings to aircraft operators,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “We believe the FAA’s decision validates our position as the optimal satellite service for aircraft operational communications, and opens up significant new opportunities for Iridium in the aviation market. FOI, when implemented, has the potential to enable aircraft operators to reduce their capital investment by half.”

Desch said the in-flight testing process included the FAA’s Performance-based Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee Communications Working Group (PARC CWG), participating airlines, ICAO and RTCA. The FAA accepted the recommendations of the PARC following satisfactory completion of a year-long operational evaluation of FOI technology. Irdium said it expects other air navigation service providers to follow FAA’s lead. This FAA recognition marks one more milestone as Iridium wins broad acceptance in commercial aviation as a key component of any cockpit communications solution. Iridium’s aviation industry partners, and their myriad products and services, play a key role in increasing

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