Regional airlines in Southeast Asia are increasingly implementing inflight tracking systems, Air Transport World reported Thursday. In the aftermath of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carriers including Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have reportedly signed up for SITA’s Aircom composite flight tracking tool, and smaller airlines have chosen similar systems.
“We have seen some 20-30 airlines take up [Aircom] so far, and the ICAO mandate for regular time-stamped reporting next year will only push that number,” said IT specialist and SITA Aircraft Solutions senior manager George Hitchins, Air Transport World reported. [The ICAO is the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations.]
After the MH370 disappearance in March 2014, Hitchins said airlines have begun to “realize they had a hole in their reporting” once jets were in the air, Hitchins said.
The U.N. has also responded to the disappearance of MH370. Earlier this month, the U.N.’s World Radio Communication Conference agreed to allow satellites to receive specialized transmissions that aircraft currently send to other planes and to ground stations. The transmissions will be transmitted to satellites, which will allow real-time tracking of flights anywhere in the world, the Christian Science Monitor reported. The U.N. also set a deadline of November 2016 for adopting new tracking guidelines, including requiring aircraft to send their positions at least every 15 minutes -- or more in an emergency.
"This extends ADS-B signals beyond line-of-sight to facilitate reporting the position of aircraft equipped with ADS-B anywhere in the world, including oceanic, polar and other remote areas," the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union’s Radiocommunication Bureau said in a statement, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
MH370, a Boeing 777-200, disappeared in March 2014 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, with 239 people aboard. The only remnant of the plane -- a wing part called a flaperon -- was found in September on France’s Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.