Papua New Guinea to use Aireon’s space-based air traffic surveillance

Image courtesy of PNGASL.

Papua New Guinea Air Services Limited (PNGASL), which provides air navigation services for the country’s airspace, has signed an agreement to deploy Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) air traffic surveillance service in the Port Moresby Flight Information Region (FIR).

This announcement will enable the near-term deployment of real-time air traffic surveillance of all ADS-B equipped aircraft, instead of the ground-based infrastructure Papua New Guinea has relied on since PNGASL’s inception in 2008. However, because of Papua New Guinea’s extremely mountainous terrains, as well as unpredictable inclement weather, it has been a challenge for PNGASL to efficiently install and effectively maintain ground stations.

To solve the geographic constraints that limit existing ground-based surveillance, PNGASL previously relied on local third-party communications links. However, the ongoing disrupted power supply and outages in service availability has made dependence on third party solutions an unreliable approach.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for PNGASL as we continuously strive to provide the highest standards of safety and efficiency for air traffic within and routed through our airspace,” said Captain Ted Pakii, CEO and Managing Director of PNG Air Services Limited. “The Aireon surveillance data will strengthen all operations overseeing our FIR, from improving our controller’s workload and broadening their capabilities, to facilitating user preferred routes for our customers. Additionally, Aireon’s technology will facilitate seamless services for the aviation industry in PNG and within the region and enable more accurate positioning for search and rescue operations among other benefits.”

Within the next few months, PNGASL will have real-time air traffic surveillance over the Port Moresby FIR, which shares common borders with Brisbane FIR, managed by Airservices Australia, the Oakland Oceanic FIR, managed by The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and, Ujung Pandang FIR, managed by AirNav Indonesia. “Deploying Aireon’s space-based ADS-B surveillance technology in the Port Moresby FIR solidifies PNGASL’s position as a leader of aviation safety and efficiency in the region, and we are certain that these benefits will extend to the greater Asia Pacific,” said Don Thoma, CEO, Aireon. “PNGASL plays a significant geographic role, being a main thoroughfare for traffic going from the north to the south and vice-versa. They are looking to provide the best-in-class services to their customers and stakeholders and real-time oceanic and terrestrial air traffic surveillance will absolutely accomplish that.”

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