Three more airlines deploy the solution

Air Transport IT Summit, Brussels | June 17, 2015– Singapore Airlines, Royal Brunei and Norwegian Air Shuttle are the latest carriers to sign-up for SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker. The product uses existing equipment and re-purposes air traffic control data to provide consistent monitoring throughout the flight. The three airlines will deploy it on their entire fleet starting this month.

Several airline customers and SITA OnAir have worked very closely together to define the functions and features of AIRCOM® FlightTracker, as well as validate and test the solution. Singapore Airlines for instance has provided SITA OnAir with requirements for the next generation of AIRCOM® FlightTracker.

Safety is clearly paramount for airlines and there is an agreement across the industry that they need the ability to track their aircraft at all times. SITA OnAir’s solution suits them perfectly, both because it provides the tracking they need and is simple to activate

“Norwegian Air Shuttle has a strict selection process for every new solution we introduce. This is particularly true for something as important as aircraft tracking. It quickly became clear that SITA OnAir is the only provider that could give us exactly what we need. SITA OnAir’s FlightTracker is the most complete solution available. Using multiple sources of data, we can track all our aircraft at 15 minute intervals or less. It also provides the most accurate data, using “smoothing” to combine position sources.”

“And of course, safety is paramount for a solution like this. FlightTracker’s automated alerting system allows us to manage our fleet of 100 aircraft and the additional 200 that will enter the fleet in the coming years safely and efficiently. A bonus feature is the unique way it integrates ATC data into our systems- it will give us valuable insight into our operations and how we can improve them,” said Chief Operating Officer Geir Steiro at Norwegian Air Shuttle.

“With the airlines’ invaluable support, we have designed the solution to make it simple for airlines to implement flight tracking,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “For the 90-plus airlines already using our AIRCOM® FlightMessenger, we can deploy the solution in a few days. Following the recent ICAO discussions, we are also working on the definition and development of a new system to detect and report unusual situations.”

Dawkins continued, “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.”

AIRCOM® FlightTracker is a ground-based, cost-effective software upgrade that uses existing equipment to allow airlines to follow aircraft positions and identify any unexpected deviations or gaps in position reports. It uses multiple sources of data so airlines can guarantee tracking intervals at 15 minutes or less for every flight. It was developed after ICAO and IATA called for global tracking technology that uses existing equipment and procedures as much as possible; SITA OnAir’s flight tracking solution meets these criteria. More airlines in Europe and the Middle East are currently assessing AIRCOM® FlightTracker with a view to making the necessary upgrade. SITA OnAir is expecting to make further customer announcements very soon.

Infographic EFB WEATHER

  • Innovative solution responds to industry demand for improved aircraft monitoring

Geneva | June 2, 2014– SITA, who is at the heart of the air transport industry being community owned and driven, today announced that it will introduce an innovative technology solution which will allow airlines to efficiently and cost effectively track their aircraft. The solution, which is currently being evaluated by several airlines for testing, will utilize technology that is already installed in the aircraft to provide advanced tracking capabilities.

The SITA AIRCOM Server Flight Tracker solution will enable interested airlines to track aircraft movement by merging SITA’s airline dispatcher center system and airline operations center system (AIRCOM) Server, with its Future Air Navigation System (FANS) ground application, which is available to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). The FANS system is already installed in many aircraft, so the solution does not call for extensive additional cost or investment by the airlines.

“SITA is 100 percent owned by the air transport community and has worked with its aviation industry partners to define next generation technology for more than 65 years. Pending development, trials and testing, we will be able to bring this advanced aircraft tracking solution to the industry meeting a pressing need,” stated Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA. “The strong upside of our innovative solution is that it can be developed quickly and it will only add minimal cost to the airlines as it will utilize existing systems on the aircraft.”

The SITA AIRCOM Server Flight Tracker solution will allow end-to-end flight tracking on conditions and parameters the airline sets through their own ADS (Automatic Dependent Surveillance) contract. This in turn will help the airline to react to different aircraft events, including adapting the pace of tracking as appropriate. The solution can be fully managed from the ground and is not dependent on actions from the crew or cockpit as the data is sent automatically after initialization.

Using the new SITA AIRCOM Server Flight Tracker solution, airline flight dispatchers will be alerted to unexpected aircraft movements by using the FANS Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C) application to request aircraft position reports across the ANSPs borders. This will avoid any gaps between ANSP tracking of the aircraft and will cover areas where ANSPs do not yet have FANS ground systems. Airlines will also be able to see any unexpected loss of contact between their aircraft and air traffic control FANS ground systems by monitoring their aircraft’s use of FANS Air Traffic Services (ATS) Facilities Notification exchanges to log on to and hand off between ANSP FANS ground systems.

The catalyst for developing the solution is the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Special Meeting on Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft held in May where airlines were encouraged to use existing equipment and procedures to the extent possible to support flight tracking. The meeting resulted in the development of a Task Force led by both ICAO and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to further evaluate possible solutions to enhance flight tracking. SITA will comply with any mandated solution determined by the Task Force.

The airlines using the new SITA solution can also benefit from the latest Inmarsat proposition for aircraft tracking reports. SITA provides over 150 airlines’, flying more than 10,000 aircraft, with communications services for their Aircraft Communications and Reporting Systems (ACARS) cockpit data link systems through its global AIRCOM network. This network consists of 1400 VHF radio stations and links via satellite.