Flight tracking, the new norm

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Flight tracking, the new norm

300 stakeholders to discuss aviation safety at Dubai summit

By Staff Report

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Published: Sun 15 Mar 2015, 3:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:23 PM

After the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 last year, the industry is placing a renewed focus on safety. — AFP

After the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 last year, the industry is placing a renewed focus on safety. — AFP

Dubai: The 3rd annual World Aviation Safety Summit will be held in Dubai tomorrow and on Tuesday. Held under the patronage of Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, the event is being hosted by the Dubai government and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

The summit will gather 300 regional and international speakers from regulatory authorities, airline operators, aircraft manufacturers, pilot associations, safety organisations and air traffic control service providers to discuss strategies to improve aircraft safety.

The gathering will discuss various issues related to aviation safety, including the adoption of a performance-based standard for global tracking of commercial aircrafts to avoid disappearance accidents. Speakers will examine if real-time aircraft tracking can improve aviation safety.

The topic has recently come under the spotlight in the international aviation industry following the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 last year.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) initiated an industry task force to develop recommendations to improve global flight tracking, which presented its conclusions to the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which will shortly issue guidelines on aircraft tracking.

The expert task force has proposed that airlines upgrade their aircraft with real-time, global flight tracking systems in order to improve safety, evaluate their current tracking capabilities against the performance criteria and close any gaps within 12 months. The task force has also suggested the use of 4D tracking. If implemented, this regulation will require all aircraft to transmit information on their longitude, latitude, altitude and local time to permit four-dimensional tracking, which should be accurate to within at least one nautical mile and reported every 15 minutes — or more often in the event of an alert.

Ruben Morales, head, flight operations safety at Iata, said: “We at Iata have welcomed the recommendation of the ICAO’s Second High Level Safety Conference to move towards the adoption of a performance-based standard for global tracking of commercial aircraft, supported by a multi-national exercise to evaluate the impact and guide implementation. We support an approach that is performance-based, not prescriptive.”

Airlines have argued that implementing an aircraft location tracking system within a year will be challenging. They contend that they are open to the idea of upgrading their tracking systems but the 12-month deadline is unrealistic.

Nils Olof Svan, senior vice president, strategy at Dubai Air Navigation Services, summit speaker and member of the advisory board, said: “Aviation safety is a critical issue, fundamental to ensuring air transport continues to play a major role in driving sustainable economic and social development.”

business@khaleejtimes.com



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