Aireon is an American company based in McLean, Virginia. Founded in 2011, it manufactures, deploys, and operates a global aircraft tracking and surveillance system[1] utilizing satellite-based receivers to monitor the existing ADS-B transmissions of aircraft, for global air traffic surveillance.[2][3][4]

Aireon LLC
Company typePrivate company
ProductsAir Traffic Control Data, GlobalBeacon, and Aireon Alert
ServicesSpace-Based ADS-B



Aireon was launched in 2011 as a joint venture between satellite communications company Iridium Communications Inc, Nav Canada, NATS,[5] ENAV,[6] Naviair[7] and the Irish Aviation Authority to work on a surveillance system to track aircraft around the globe, beyond the range of ground-based radar and ADS-B receivers, in real time.[8][9][10] Nav Canada invested $150 million to acquire a 51% stake in the project.[11][12][13]

In September 2016, Aireon launched a partnership with FlightAware to provide space-based ADS-B to airlines and other aircraft operators with Qatar Airways as the launch customer.

In January 2017, Aireon launched and deployed its first ADS-B payloads on Iridium Next satellites. Seven launches followed the first launch.[14][15] The eighth and final launch in January 2019 completed the satellite 'constellation' and put the total in-orbit Aireon payloads at 75 (66 operational payloads and 9 spares).  [16][17][18][19][20]

National ANSPs including Nav Canada, UK NATS, ENAV, IAA, AAI, Naviair, Isavia, CAAS of Singapore, ATNS of South Africa, DC-ANSP, ASECNA, Seychelles (SCAA), COCESNA Honduras and PNG of Papua New Guinea have signed a Data Services Agreement with Aireon.[21][22][23][24]



ADS-B-equipped aircraft transmit short data packets containing identification, position and other information. The system was intended to be used with ground-based receivers. Through its receivers in space, Aireon monitors these transmissions, providing coverage where there is no ground infrastructure, relaying signals from all ADS-B equipped aircraft to controllers.[25][26]

Iridium Communications hosts the Aireon payloads on its constellation of Iridium NEXT low-orbiting communication satellites.

Aireon's receiver data is also processed by FlightAware which has partnered with Aireon to provide data to airlines, other aircraft operators and the public.

Aireon's ICAO designator is AEN.[27]


  1. ^ "Malaysia Airlines to track planes with satellites". BBC News. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  2. ^ "Aireon Surveillance Payloads See First ADS-B Traffic". Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  3. ^ "Aireon and LVNL to assess space-based ADS–B". Airport Technology. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  4. ^ "Aireon Launches, Deploys 10 More Iridium Next Satellites with ADS-B Payloads". Avionics. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  5. ^ "nats-buys-equity-stake-in-aireon-in-space-based-aircraft-surveillance-tech-push". 17 May 2018.
  6. ^ "italys-stake-in-aireon-comes-under-fire".
  7. ^ "aireon-completes-requirements-for-third-investment-from-nav-canada". 30 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Free Satellite Tracking Will Improve Ability To Locate Lost Planes". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  9. ^ Dillow, Clay. "This Technology Will Make Missing Planes a Thing of the Past". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  10. ^ "Aireon Launch Begins New Era for Satellite-Based Aircraft Surveillance". Flying Magazine. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  11. ^ Ramchandani, Nisha. "CAAS and Aireon pair up to improve aircraft tracking". The Business Times. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  12. ^ Presutti, Carolyn. "SpaceX Deploys Airplane Trackers in 'Delicate Choreography'". VOA. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  13. ^ Spillane, Hayley (2017-03-06). "Aireon Launches First ADS-B Hosted Payload and Begins Testing and Validating Data - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  14. ^ "Aireon and FlightAware Partner to Launch GlobalBeacon Airline Solution for ICAO Airline Flight Tracking Compliance". Aireon. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  15. ^ "Qatar Airways to be Launch Customer for Flight Aware, Aireon Flight Tracking". Via Satellite. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  16. ^ "SpaceX sets Sept. 30 for third Iridium Next launch -". 2017-07-28. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  17. ^ "La DSNA monte à bord de l'ADS-B satellitaire d'Aireon". Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  18. ^ "Space Radio Developed For NASA Could Change Flight Tracking Worldwide". Tech Times. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  19. ^ "Successful Fifth Launch Brings Aireon(SM) Global Air Traffic Surveillance System Closer to Full Deployment".
  20. ^ "Iridium Completes Historic Satellite Launch Campaign".
  21. ^ "Aireon aims at Asia, LatAm as Iridium deploys satellites". Reuters. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  22. ^ "Space X rocket with 10 Iridium satellites launches from Vandenberg". sanluisobispo. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  23. ^ "SpaceX launches first batch of Iridium NEXT satellites". GPS World. 2017-01-17. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  24. ^ "asecna-aireon-provide-air-traffic-surveillance-africa".
  25. ^ "Aireon Will Add ADS-B Receivers to Iridium Satellites for Worldwide Aircraft Surveillance". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  26. ^ "Saudi Arabia's SANS, Aireon launch space-based ADS-B surveillance operational concept | Air Traffic Management | Air Traffic Management - ATM and CMS Industry online, the latest air traffic control industry, CAA, ANSP, SESAR and NEXTGEN news, events, supplier directory and magazine". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  27. ^ "Foreign ICAO 3LD Additions and Modifications (excluding U.S.)" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  • Hanomansing, Ian (2 April 2019). "New real-time tracking system locates planes anywhere in the world". CBC News. Retrieved 3 April 2019.