While Aireon would do nothing to prevent the tragedy, if Aireon were in place today, authorities would know EXACTLY where the plane went down instead of merely looking for oil spills and pieces of wreckage...If a plane were to go down and passengers/crew survived the "landing" this immediate location data would enable rescuers to potentially save survivors. The FAA should use this as a wake up call to join the 21st century.
Not exactly Let's see. Aireon uses ADS-B signals from a ADS-B transmitter om board the plane, which can also be disabled like the current transponder system on the Mayaysian 777. If you disable the ADS-B Transmitter manually, then you are no better off than currently operating system, Unless you are out over the open oceans. They know the exact position when the plane "disappeared" from radar. In cases like the Air France incident over the middle of the Atlantic. Then yes a system like Aireon would be helpful.. But, in the case of the Malaysian 777. No more helpful than the current transponder system... Sorry
There seems to be a move toward making it more difficult (impossible?) to dissable external data communications systems. Since breakers can be thrown manually, and breakers are used to prevent fires, I assume this will have to be studied carefully. Maybe there's a way to use thermal cutoff devices which switch automatically to backup systems in an emergency. We will just have to see where this goes.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
The major difference is that with the current system, the present transponders (assuming they were in fact turned off) were not being used to "track" the plane; therefore, when/if they were turned off there were no alarm bells going off on the screen of a ANSP (air navigation service provider...think FAA air traffic controller). When Aireon is operational, and "Plane A" is flying over the north Atlantic, both NAV Canada and NAV Denmark (they control Greenland) will have Plane A on their screen, with an eye towards allowing the plane to fly with the prevailing winds (they will be able to do this, since they will know where the other planes are as well). Again, the primary purpose of Aireon is to make flight patterns more efficient, thus saving the airlines fuel and saving the passengers time/frustration. But back to our scenario, in the event that Plane A's transponders cease to signal (either due to catastrophic event or nefarious switching off) the ANSP will know that IMMEDIATELY!! If there was a catastrophic event, rescue planes can be deployed...if it was thought to be nefarious, then perhaps fighter jets could be scrambled...Oh and it wouldn't shock me if it were made impossible for the Aireon transponder to be turned off...after all, under what scenario would an airline WANT their pilots to be able to "hide"?!? I would also imagine that if the Aireon transponder was automatically switched to "back-up" power...then THAT mere fact would cause alarm bells to go off....
I looked into Iridium last night in light of the Malaysian missing flight, as I knew it was the only satellite constellation with full global capability. I figured the mystery of the missing plane would stimulate a push toward continuous monitoring of commercial flight status since CNBC had guests on telling them the technology to make black boxes obsolete is here already.
I was surprised to find how far along the FAA is in requiring ADS-B and Nextgen GPS based plane tracking, and how involved Iridium is in working to develop the Aireon system - and how beneficial these will be for efficient and economical flight operations. Only 10% of global airspace is monitored, - planes set of daily across the Atlantic into total radar blackness! I spent most of today getting a decent amount of IRDM in my portfolios. I could see the shorts trying to keep the share price down with their streams of 100 share sells, as well they might considering the huge short interest of this stock.
I just watched CNN's guest Denny Kelly give a most ignorant dissertation on how little value global flight monitoring would be, and showing his lack of knowledge of ADS-B implementation. Too bad they don't get someone from Iridium on to brief them on some real facts.
I have no problem making a long term investment here. The company is profitable and has incredible potential. JMHO. Chris.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
the federal government will be requiring that sort of technology in US airspace come 2020
go to Wikipedia and see "Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast"
but iridium can't do it until their new sats are up
maybe they squeak-by just in time for 2020 but given thales' record of meeting production schedules....it's doubtful