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Malaysia Airlines first airline to use satellite tracking

April 20, 20173 minute read
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Malaysia Airlines will be the first SITAONAIR airline customer to employ satellite tracking of their aircraft. This was revealed on 18th April 2017 in an announcement made jointly by SITAONAIR, Aireon and FlightAware.

What is Satellite tracking?

If you’ve ever used a flight tracking system such as FlightAware to monitor a loved one’s journey, you’re already half way to seeing what can be done. Since such trackers became popular a few years ago, technological advances and the willingness of everyday people to host ground based devices has made the process much easier. Even then, large areas could not be covered. Uninhabited areas and large oceans have so far been the biggest barrier to global tracking. This collaboration will fill those gaps.

Under the agreement, all Malaysia Airlines aircraft will have access to minute-by-minute, 100% global, flight tracking data, delivered by SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker.

SITAONAIR already have a comprehensive range of aviation linked products. This revolutionary collaboration will combine Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data with existing data from FlightAware’s multiple global sources, complementing active Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Future Air Navigation System (FANS) activity data.

What does this mean for passengers?

Since the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in March 2014, there has been a major push for improvements in tracking procedures.

Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft operations centre will receive real-time position updates of its airborne fleet globally. Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data will also resolve any existing data feed coverage gaps that remain, particularly over oceanic and remote airspace, where there is currently no surveillance.

As the first customer, the airline will be at the cutting-edge of real-time flight-tracking technology. With access to up-to-the-minute reporting, Malaysia Airlines will know the location, heading, speed and altitude of all aircraft in its fleet, at all times, and be alerted to any exceptions.

…. Real-time global aircraft tracking has long been a goal of the aviation community. We are proud to be the first airline to adopt this solution using space-based ADS-B data as part of SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker. Captain Izham Ismail, Chief OO, Malaysia Airlines

The installation of this new system requires no new avionics or modifications for aircraft to take advantage of this service. The Aireon service will be operational in 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation and airlines using aircraft fitted with the system will automatically begin seeing the new Aireon data appear in their systems.

Malaysia Airlines is a member of the oneworld® alliance and is the national carrier of Malaysia.

# Malaysia Airlines, satellite tracking
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