Aireon Convenes First Space-Based ADS-B Advisory Committee Meeting

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MCLEAN, Va., Nov. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On October 14, representatives from airlines, aviation organizations and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), gathered in Singapore for the first meeting of the newly formed Space-based ADS-B Advisory Committee (SAAC). The SAAC brings together key stakeholders from across the aviation industry to provide input, guidance and critical operational insight to Aireon LLC as it embarks upon deploying the world's first space-based global air traffic surveillance system, extending ADS-B coverage and benefits to every flight path across the planet.

The SAAC consists of nine members including representatives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and airline representatives from the IATA Operations Committee (OPC), Air Canada, Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa, as well as ANSP representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), UK NATS, and NAV CANADA. The group is tasked with providing industry-related counsel and collaboration on operational, regulatory, and technological issues before the launch of Aireon's services. The formation of the SAAC will ensure an open dialog between industry stakeholders and Aireon as key aspects of space-based ADS-B deployment, management and implementation are finalized.

"By bringing together experts across all areas of the aviation industry, including representatives from the airlines, IATA, and ANSPs, we are well positioned to ensure we understand the operational benefits and challenges associated with the deployment of a new concept of operation," said Don Thoma, President and CEO, Aireon. "The SAAC is charged with providing the feedback needed to guarantee that the needs of both the airlines and ANSPs are met when AireonSM is fully operational. We are honored that the committee sees the full potential of what space-based ADS-B surveillance can provide and has chosen to provide direct input into the development and deployment of this transformational capability."

Aireon's revolutionary space-based ADS-B surveillance service will improve the efficiency of air traffic operations around the world through reduced procedural separation standards between aircraft in remote and oceanic airspace, resulting in significantly reduced flight times, fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions by aircraft. By creating an environment of strong collaboration and cooperation between members of the SAAC, leaders across the aviation industry have the opportunity to provide input on how best to enable these benefits.

"Safety is aviation's top priority. The advancement of a global, space-based surveillance system is a new industry work area with the potential to enhance safety and efficiency for service providers and airspace users in many areas of the world," said Guenther Matschnigg, IATA Senior Vice President, Safety and Flight Operations.

"Space-based ADS-B has the potential to save airlines over USD $120 million per year starting in 2018 in the North Atlantic alone, in addition to providing more efficient and more environmentally friendly air travel across some of the world's busiest oceanic airspace," said Rudy Kellar, Executive Vice President of Service Delivery, NAV CANADA. "The SAAC will ensure that aviation stakeholders have an opportunity to share their industry knowledge and expertise throughout the development and deployment process of Aireon, resulting in a joint effort towards creating the best possible solution for air traffic management."

Expected to be fully operational in 2017, Aireon will be the first ever global air traffic monitoring service, providing a host of benefits to the world's airlines and ANSPs. Since launching in June 2012, Aireon has made significant progress, including a long-term data services contract with its first customer, NAV CANADA, and a $42 million data processing contract with ITT Exelis. Interest from international ANSPs continues to grow and Aireon expects to sign additional data service contracts over the coming years.

About Aireon LLC

Headquartered in McLean, VA, Aireon LLC is a joint venture between Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) and NAV CANADA to provide air navigation service providers with the capability to track aircraft anywhere in the world in near-real time, including the only coverage over oceanic, polar and remote regions. Aireon will harness the best of aviation surveillance advancements already underway and extend them globally in order to significantly improve the business of air operations through increased efficiency, expanded safety, worldwide integration and significant cost savings to airlines and ANSPs alike. For more information about Aireon, visit: www.aireon.com.

CONTACT: PRESS CONTACT: Ashley Eames Iridium Communications Inc. +1 (703) 287-7476 Ashley.eames@iridium.com

Source:Aireon LLC