Aireon’s service will use receivers built into 66 satellites in Iridium’s second-generation constellation, due to be launched starting 2015.
Although the joint venture will be fully up and running only after the launch is complete in 2017, Iridium said Aireon will start generating revenue right from when the first satellite is turned on in just over two years.
Data from aircraft reporting their positions through the system will start flowing in early 2015, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in an interview with Reuters.
“I know that a lot of the air navigation service providers are going to be interested in that data even upfront and would be glad to pay for it.”
Aireon, whose services will also enable aircraft black boxes to send information real time, could be taken public in the future, the JV partners said.
“It’s premature to (talk about going public) right now, but that certainly is not ruled out in the future,” Crichton said.
Nav Canada, a not-for-profit financed by publicly traded bonds, said it would not raise additional debt to finance the first tranche of its investment in the joint venture.