Further discussion are encouraged once again by Tony Tyler, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to implement global flight tracking as three months pass since the disappearance of flight MH370. Many airlines simply do not want to wait for an industrywide solution to real-time tracking.
IATA plan to put aircraft tracking proposals to the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in September and believe standards could be in place within two to three years. Some airlines, however, do not want to wait and are looking into making arrangements much sooner than that. Qatar Airlines, for example, hosted a recent meeting of IATA in Doha last week and said that the ‘technology to track planes is available today’, and cited the possibility of adapting the ACARS system as an example.
The adaptation of ACARS, which delivers information in short bursts, is a real possibility for airlines to ensure tracking information is consistent without incurring extensive retrofit costs; using equipment that is already installed in the aircraft.
Qatar Airlines are amongst many that are expressing a serious interest in exploring the possibilities for the provision of real time flight tracking.