On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 departed from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 passengers and crew members on board.
This week, Malaysia Airlines signed a new deal with Aireon, FlightAware and Sitaonair to be the first in the industry to use satellites to track all aircraft, to avoid such a tragedy in the future.
In evolving beyond today’s tracking systems, Malaysia Airlines will be able to take advantage of the recently-launched Iridium Next satellite constellation and the combination of Sitaonair’s current Aircom FlightTracker with Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data to deliver real-time position updates to the airline’s operations center.
“The result would be that Malaysia Airlines will have greater visibility as to their aircraft’s exact location,” said Daniel Baker, FlightAware Chief Executive Officer.
One immediate benefit for the airline is that it won’t need to update or modify the avionics in any of its aircraft.
The new data will appear in Malaysia Airline flight systems as soon as the Aireon system becomes operational in 2018.
“Real-time global aircraft tracking has long been a goal of the aviation community,” said Captain Izham Ismail, Chief Operating Officer for Malaysia Airlines.