|Iridium News comes at same time as AMA's. Nice Timing!|
U.S. FAA Authorizes Airlines' Use of Iridium for Oceanic Air Traffic Control Communications
Major Milestone Toward Giving Airlines Cost-Effective Solutions for Oceanic Controller/Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC)
Press ReleaseSource: Iridium Communications Inc.On Monday July 11, 2011, 7:30 am EDT
MCLEAN, Va., July 11, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM - News)announces that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) willauthorize aircraft operating in oceanic airspace to use its satellitedata service for critical air traffic control communications. This markscompletion of the FAA process evaluating aircraft flying in airspaceunder its jurisdiction to use Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/Aover Iridium (FOI) to meet communications requirements for air trafficcontrol. The decision is an important milestone in providing corporateand commercial aircraft a cost-effective alternative for implementingFANS 1/A communications. Iridium's fully global coverage provides theaviation industry with an attractive alternative for long-range voiceand data communication systems.
"Iridium is a natural choice for aviation safety communications becauseof our high reliability; global coverage; small, lightweight hardwareand the significant cost savings to aircraft operators," said MattDesch, CEO, Iridium. "After five years of study, validation andextensive in-flight testing, we are thankful to all stakeholders thatparticipated in this achievement -- including the FAA'sPerformance-based Operations Aviation Rulemaking CommitteeCommunications Working Group (PARC CWG), our extensive ecosystem ofaviation partners, participating airlines, the International CivilAviation Organization (ICAO) and the Radio Technical Commission forAeronautics (RTCA). We believe the FAA's decision validates our positionas the optimal satellite service for aircraft operationalcommunications, and opens up significant new opportunities for Iridiumin the aviation market. FOI, when implemented, has the potential toenable aircraft operators to reduce their capital investment by half."
In a letter to the FAA, Dave Nakamura, PARC chairman, wrote, "Theglobal air transportation system will benefit from FANS 1/A over Iridium(FOI) as it provides a practical alternative for Air Navigation ServiceProviders (ANSPs) to expand data link service and for commercial andbusiness aviation markets to equip their fleets more quickly. FOIhardware is a significantly lower cost solution than other AeronauticalMobile Satellite (Route) Service (AMS(R)S) alternatives. Iridium-basedequipment is easier to retrofit, draws less power, is lighter in weight,and provides global coverage, including the Polar Regions."
In a response to Nakamura, Margaret Gilligan, FAA associateadministrator for aviation safety, wrote, "The FAA accepts FOI as aviable means for air traffic service communications, particularly inaccordance with performance specifications for reduced oceanicseparations based on automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C)."Gilligan added, "The Air Traffic Organization (ATO) will takeappropriate action to remove restrictions on FOI operations in itsoceanic airspace. The FAA will also advocate removal of any restrictionsimposed by other air navigation service providers. FAA aircraftcertification and flight standards offices will continue to certifyaircraft with FOI installations..."
Noting other important elements of the FAA decision, Damien McCormack,portfolio director, SITA commented, "This use of FOI operations wouldenable air traffic controllers to reduce separation zones and enhanceoperational efficiency without compromising safety, and has thepotential to result in reduced emissions and fuel usage through moreefficient routing of aircraft. In addition, airlines would benefit fromglobal and cost-effective communications coverage that enables them toleverage preferred routes."
The FAA accepted the recommendations of the PARC following satisfactorycompletion of a year-long operational evaluation of FOI technology.Other ANSPs are expected to follow the FAA's lead and accept Iridium as aviable option to meet communication needs in their own airspace in thenear future. This FAA recognition marks one more milestone as Iridiumwins broad acceptance in commercial aviation as a key component of anycockpit communications solution. Iridium's aviation industry partners,and their myriad products and services, play a key role in increasingIridium's aviation customer base, which is now already more than 25,000subscribers.
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communicationsnetwork that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections betweenpeople, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time.Together with its ever-expanding ecosystem of partner companies, Iridiumdelivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions formarkets that require truly global communications. The company has amajor development program underway for its next-generation network --Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean,Va., U.S.A., and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under theticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units). For more information about Iridiumproducts, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.
Statements in this press release that are not purely historicalfacts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in thePrivate Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-lookingstatements include statements regarding the development of the marketsfor Iridium's aviation products, increases to Iridium's aviationcustomer base, and the benefits of Iridium's aviation products andanticipated approvals by air navigation service providers. Otherforward-looking statements can be identified by the words "anticipates,""may," "can," "believes," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely,""will," "to be" and other expressions that are predictions or indicatefuture events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statementsinvolve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors thatmay cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium todiffer materially from any future results, performance or achievementsexpressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks anduncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regardingIridium's ability to develop new products, obtain necessarily regulatoryapprovals to offer new products, address new markets and maintain thehealth, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, and thedevelopment of and transition to Iridium NEXT, as well as generalindustry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmentaland technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual resultsto differ materially from those indicated by the forward-lookingstatements include those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors"in the company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, filedwith the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 7, 2011,and in the company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2011,filed with the SEC on May 10, 2011. There is no assurance that Iridium'sexpectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks oruncertainties materialize, or if Iridium's underlying assumptions proveincorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected,estimated or projected. Iridium's forward-looking statements speak onlyas of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes noobligation to update forward-looking statements.
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