Since the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in March 2014, the aviation industry has held global flight tracking standards under close scrutiny, led by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
ICAO want to have global flight tracking standardised, with positioning reporting at 15-minute intervals under normal flight conditions, and reporting every minute for aircraft under ‘distress’ conditions. The body authorised by the UN, overseers of aviation safety in this respect, has asked that these conditions be mandatory by the end of 2018.
ICAO is working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to ensure, through simulations, that the proposed tracking standard is possible in what they deem to be ‘real-world conditions’.
The technology is already in place to determine safe and reliable flight tracking on a global scale. Providers of flight tracking systems and aircraft communications, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviNet, rely on a robust system architecture, and multiple data sources, to deliver accurate aircraft positioning via Inmarsat satellite communications.