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France’s DNSA Supports Inmarsat’s Iris Program

By | August 15, 2019
The Iris program has a sixth ANSP on board. Photo: Inmarsat

The Iris program has a sixth ANSP on board. Photo: Inmarsat

Inmarsat revealed that Direction des Services de la navigation aérienne (DSNA), France’s primary Air Navigation Services Provider (ANSP), signed an agreement to join a consortium of European ANSPs supporting the modernization of Air Traffic Management (ATM) over Europe through the Iris program. In partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), Inmarsat is leading the Iris program, which aims to deliver benefits to airlines and ANSPs across Europe by enabling secure, high-bandwidth, satellite-based datalink communications.

The aim of Iris is to deploy digital controller-pilot communications to improve the speed and accuracy of air traffic management across Europe’s congested airspace and to relieve existing congested radio frequencies. Iris is also designed to enable “4D” trajectories, pinpointing an aircraft in four dimensions: latitude, longitude, altitude and time, which is one of the major concepts defined in the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) modernization program.

DSNA joins five major European ANSPs already involved with implementing Iris. This includes DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain), ENAV (Italy), EUROCONTROL MUAC (North-West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) and NATS (U.K.). These ANSPs, which together handle the majority of European air traffic, are participating in an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) pilot with Inmarsat and ESA.