South Africa’s ATNS, Aireon to Collaborate on ADS-B Advancement in Africa

Aviation industry leaders Aireon and Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) of South Africa have strengthened their commitment to collaboration, forging a cooperative agreement to advance space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) products and services in the African continent. 

ATNS CEO, Nozipho Mdawe
ATNS CEO, Nozipho Mdawe

Under the refined approach of this partnership, which was agreed to during a series of operational workshops in Johannesburg, South Africa, ATNS will support Aireon’s objective of expanding the use of ADS-B data to other countries in the region. Together, ATNS and Aireon will work on providing operational case studies on ADS-B for countries in the Southern Africa region, as well as exploring regional air traffic flow management (ATFM) opportunities. 

Additionally, ATNS, which began using Aireon data in air traffic operations in June, will explore the expanded use of Aireon products and services, including Aireon Locate for search and rescue operations, AireonFLOW for ATFM, AireonINSIGHT, safety data analytics, and billing.

“This agreement further codifies the very productive working relationship between two industry leaders, bringing together two best-in-class innovators,” said Don Thoma, Aireon CEO. “Aireon is excited to explore this ATNS partnership to support efforts to bring the operational, safety, and environmental value of ADS-B to the region.” 

“ATNS is one of the early adopters of Aireon’s Space-Based ADS-B service and today marks a major milestone in our Commercialization Agreement that we signed back in 2016,” said ATNS CEO, Nozipho Mdawe.  “Armed with this capability that is backed by our partner Aireon, we are well positioned to continue contributing to regional solutions geared towards seamless airspace operation in the Africa and Indian Ocean region”.

About ATNS: Air Traffic and Navigation Service Company Limited (ATNS) is a State-Owned Company (SOC), established in 1993 in terms of the ATNS Company Act (Act 45 of 1993) to provide air traffic management solutions and associated services on behalf of the State. These services accord with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practices, and the South African Civil Aviation Regulations and Technical Standards. As an air navigation services provider (ANSP), ATNS is governed by the nation’s legislative and administrative framework. For more information, please visit

About Aireon LLC: 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, ENAV, NATS UK 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. For more information, please visit

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