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Africa’s ASECNA And Aerion Agree On ADS-B Satellite Use For Air Navigation and Safety

Image courtesy of Aerion.

Following nearly two years of collaboration on terrestrial surveillance between the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) and Aireon, the two organizations have concluded the use of space-based ADS-B for surveillance services beginning 1 January 2020 within the six flight information regions (FIRs) of ASECNA: Antananarivo, Brazzaville, Dakar Terrestrial, Dakar Oceanic, N’djamena and Niamey.

Aireon and ASECNA’s relationship dates back to early 2014, when the two began their cooperation and studies to enhance safety and efficiency in ASECNA’s airspace. In 2018, it was announced that ASECNA planned to deploy space-based ADS-B in its terrestrial airspace.

Mohamed Moussa, Director General of ASECNA said, “Expanding ATS surveillance across key oceanic airspaces will allow us to more easily partner with regional ANSPs in these important corridors. Today’s announcement reinforces our decades-long commitment to creating a seamless African sky.”

With this surveillance expansion, ASECNA will have 100 percent real-time air traffic surveillance over the entire 16.1 million square kilometers of its controlled airspace. As of July 2019, Aireon data currently reaches ASECNA centres in two different points, Dakar and Abidjan, and is then distributed via Very-Small-Aperture Terminal (VSAT) to all the other centers.

This service expansion over water also benefits ASECNA’s operations over land. By connecting oceanic and terrestrial with the same space-based ADS-B data, the ANSP will be able to safely reduce aircraft separation minima, adding more capacity and allowing preferred routes to airlines.

“Aireon congratulates ASECNA on their leadership in deploying space-based ADS-B data in the AFI region,” said Don Thoma, CEO of Aireon. “Space-based ADS-B data will be available across all six flight information regions of ASECNA, and this partnership extends the collaboration and the benefits of safety and efficiency to ASECNA’s region.”

Founded in December 1959, this announcement coincides with ASECNA’s 60th-anniversary celebration. ASECNA is planning to celebrate their 60th anniversary by extending the scope of Aireon surveillance with this announcement to employ ATS surveillance data coverage across all six ASECNA FIRs.

ASECNA is an International public institution. Its main mission consists in ensuring safety in air navigation by covering an airspace surface area of about 16.5 square kilometers that is divided into six flight information regions (F.I.R) as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization. In addition, ASECNA develops solutions related to airport management, studies and aeronautical infrastructure realizations, aeronautical equipment maintenance, calibration of air navigation instruments and training dedicated to the civil aviation. Its 18 Member States are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, France, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo.

Aireon has deployed a space-based air traffic surveillance system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft throughout the entire globe. Aireon is harnessing next-generation aviation surveillance technologies that were formerly ground-based and, for the first time ever, is extending their reach globally to significantly improve efficiency, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide cost savings benefits to all stakeholders. Space-based ADS-B surveillance covers oceanic, polar and remote regions, and augments existing ground-based systems that are limited to terrestrial airspace. In partnership with leading ANSPs from around the world, like NAV CANADA, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Enav, NATS and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon is providing a global, real-time, space-based air traffic surveillance system, available to all aviation stakeholders.

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