• Brazilian low-cost carrier is first airline in the Americas to deploy Flight Tracker

Geneva | August 18, 2015– Azul is the first airline in the Americas to deploy SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, The service was activated on 1 August. Brazil’s leading low cost carrier, flying to 100 destinations across the country, can now track flights in real time on every route.

“FlightTracker’s momentum is building rapidly as more and more airlines across the world start using it to meet industry requirements for tracking each and every flight at all times,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir.

FlightTracker was the obvious choice for Azul. From its beginnings in 2008, it has used SITA OnAir AIRCOM® technology, making the addition of FlightTracker a simple software upgrade to the ground-based server. Now Azul can track its entire fleet of Embraer 190 and 195s, ATR 72-600s and Airbus A330s. The A320neos and A350s that Azul has on order will also be tracked as soon as they enter service.

Video about AIRCOM FlightTracker

FlightTracker uses multiple sources of data, including air traffic control information, terrestrial and satellite feeds, and the airline’s flight plans, to provide real-time aircraft position monitoring. These include theDepartment of Airspace Control’s air traffic management network, which is managed by SITA. FlightTracker generates automatic alerts when an aircraft goes outside pre-determined parameters, giving flight controllers full information at all times.

“Our flight tracking brief, through ICAO and IATA, was two-fold,” says Dawkins. “Flight operations teams need to be able to follow aircraft positions and identify any unexpected deviations or gaps in position reports, while using existing equipment and procedures, without adding significant cost. We can also exceed the initial specification for reports every 15 minutes, depending on an airline’s requirements.”

AIRCOM® FlightTracker is used in every phase of the flight. More frequent reports can also be provided, for example in the case of an emergency.

More than 90 airlines around the world use SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® technology. Several have already deployed FlightTracker, with more expected to follow.

  • Ground based applications allow airlines to track aircraft

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg | April 14, 2015– Malaysia Airlines will be the first carrier to implement global flight tracking using SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, starting this summer. Both airlines have already conducted extensive testing of the technology, which uses existing equipment and re-purposes air traffic control data. This ground-based software upgrade allows airlines to follow aircraft positions and identify any unexpected deviations or gaps in position reports. Because it utilizes existing equipment, the solution is highly cost effective.

AIRCOM® FlightTracker was launched to meet the needs of the aviation industry. Moving beyond the trial phase, the airlines are now ready to roll out the system across their entire fleets. Malaysia Airlines will be the first to go live with deployment this summer, in under a year after the solution was launched in fast track mode in June 2014.

SITA OnAir’s solution provides the tracking capabilities the airline needs without the requirement for new and expensive equipment. SITA OnAir has designed a solution that works using the AIRCOM Server ACARS message handling system, which airlines already has in place, so the cost and disruption are minimal.

AIRCOM® FlightTracker uses multiple sources of data that guarantees tracking intervals of at least every 15 minutes for every flight. The airline also has the option to configure the system to intervals of less than 15 minutes. In addition, AIRCOM® FlightTracker enables the airline to proactively obtain ADS-C tracking data immediately when it detects a gap in data from other sources. AIRCOM®FlightTracker can also obtain one-off position reports from the Flight Management computers on short-haul aircraft that do not have FANS data link avionics.

“We have designed the solution so airlines have straightforward access to ATC-like tracking data,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “For those airlines already using our ACARS messaging, we can deploy it very quickly. Following the recent ICAO discussions, we are also working on the definition and development of a new system to detect and report unusual situations. As part of our commitment to the air transport community we are also investigating new aircraft solutions that are independent of aircraft power or systems.”

ICAO’s Multidisciplinary Meeting on Global Flight Tracking in May 2014 called for, ‘global tracking of airline flights…to provide early notice of and response to abnormal flight behaviour.’ The ICAO meeting also concluded that airlines, ‘will be encouraged to use existing equipment and procedures to the extent possible to support flight tracking’. The same principles were reiterated by IATA’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force in its report and recommendations in November last year, and reinforced at ICAO’s Second High Level Safety Conference in February 2015.

AIRCOM® FlightTracker therefore has an important role to play in providing improved tracking and detection of unplanned movements, without requiring modifications to the aircraft. It is simply an extra software layer on top of SITA OnAir’s existing AIRCOM® Server ACARS message handling system, which is already used by over 90 airlines around the world. It is very efficient: it is straightforward to install and therefore adds only minimal cost.

“As part of our commitment to the air transport community we will, during an emergency, provide AIRCOM® FlightTracker position reporting free of charge to SITA member customers,” concluded Dawkins. “AIRCOM® FlightTracker will request emergency positioning reports if it identifies that a flight has left its normal route for an unknown reason – and we will waive charges for that reporting until the emergency ends.”

Airlines in Europe and Asia are currently assessing SITA OnAir AIRCOM® FlightTracker, with a view to making the necessary upgrade from the ACARS system.