Aireon signed a credit facility agreement for $200 million with a group of several independent investor funds, led by Deutsche Bank.

The credit facility will provide Aireon with the resources to fund various company initiatives and to continue to pay Iridium for the costs related to the integration, launch and hosting of the AireonSM payload on each of the 81 Iridium NEXT satellites.

“This credit facility is a vote of confidence in Aireon’s business model and a testament to the team, technology, investors and our role in the future of the aviation industry,” said Rich Nyren, Aireon CFO. “Iridium, as one of the founding partners with NAV CANADA, enabled the Aireon opportunity through its $3 billion investment in the incredible Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. Aireon has benefited by this relationship, and this facility now provides a vehicle by which Aireon can more quickly pay Iridium for access to this prime real estate in orbit.”

Sunil Sharma of Deutsche Bank commented, “Deutsche Bank is delighted to have worked with Aireon and its key shareholders on this landmark financing in the air traffic control and satellite sectors. We look forward to working with the management team towards the commencement of the company’s full scale commercial operations in 2019.”

Aireon has already started paying the $200 million hosting fee owed to Iridium and the new facility provided the funds to pay another $35 million though the end of 2018, for a total of $43 million to date.

The Aireon system is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of 2019, beginning with operational trials over the North Atlantic Ocean with the Canadian and British air navigation service providers, NAV CANADA and NATS. Additional deployment will occur in NAV CANADA’s Edmonton airspace. Once operational, the Aireon system will enable a complete global picture of international air traffic, in real time, offering air traffic controllers, airline operators and industry stakeholders the first ever and never-before-possible visibility of global air traffic.

Aireon designs, develops and deploys space-based global air traffic surveillance systems for commercial aviation companies and air navigation service providers primarily in North America, Australia, and Europe.