Airline is first to adopt joint solution for real-time, space-based alerting system for flight tracking
April 18, 2017– SITAONAIR, Aireon and FlightAware today announce that Malaysia Airlines will be the first SITAONAIR airline customer to benefit from a revolutionary flight tracking partnership.

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.

This solution will enhance the existing SITAONAIR AIRCOM® FlightTracker by adding Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data to the existing data available from FlightAware’s multiple global sources, complementing active Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Future Air Navigation System (FANS) activity data.

By incorporating this data, Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft operations center 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.

No new avionics or modifications are needed for aircraft to take advantage of this new service.

“Real-time global aircraft tracking has long been a goal of the aviation community,” said Captain Izham Ismail, Chief Operating Officer, Malaysia Airlines. “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.”

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM®, at SITAONAIR, said: “With the addition of the Aireon SM data, via FlightAware, to SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, combined with our active monitoring and automated alerting capabilities, Malaysia Airlines 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.”

In November 2016, Aireon, FlightAware and SITAONAIR announced a new partnership to deliver Aireon data via FlightAware to SITAONAIR customers. FlightAware provides a combination of global air traffic control data, aircraft datalink information and terrestrial ADS-B data through a secure streaming data feed.

Once the Aireon system is operational, expected in 2018, airlines already using SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker will automatically begin seeing the new Aireon data appear in their systems without the need for costly modifications.

“In addition to not requiring any new avionics or modifications to their aircraft, Malaysia Airlines will seamlessly gain real-time flight tracking ability of its fleet, even in areas where regional Air Navigation Service Providers do not have full surveillance,” said FlightAware Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Baker. “The result will be that Malaysia Airlines will have greater visibility of their aircraft’s exact location.”

Aireon Chief Executive Officer, Don Thoma added: “Malaysia Airlines has taken a lead role in the industry since the tragic events of 2014. Real-time, global flight tracking, anywhere on the planet will further their safety goals, by allowing Malaysia Airlines to track their aircraft anytime, anywhere.”

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system will offer a global solution that works for all ADS-B Out equipped aircraft everywhere. ADS-B Out mandates have been passed by ANSPs and industry governing bodies around the world, resulting in operators automatically knowing that their aircraft are properly equipped.

The Aireon service will be operational in 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. On January 14, 2017, the first 10 Iridium NEXT satellites carrying the Aireon ADS-B hosted payload were successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. In total, the constellation will consist of 66 operational low-earth-orbit satellites providing global coverage. The service will also provide Air Navigation Service Providers with global aircraft surveillance capability, and is expected to help reduce fuel costs, increase safety and enable more efficient flight paths.

Canberra, Australia | March 2, 2015– Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications and safety services, today announced that it is partnering with Airservices Australia and other key aviation industry stakeholders to trial improved flight tracking services on commercial airline flights to and from Australia.

The announcement follows a resolution on 6 February by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to adopt a new 15-minute tracking standard for commercial aircraft. ICAO is the United Nations body tasked with developing international civil aviation standards and recommended practices.

Inmarsat is working with industry partners, Airservices Australia, Qantas and Virgin Australia in developing the operational concept for the trial, using Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C) satellite technology in Australia’s oceanic regions.

Airservices Australia is the first Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) to trial the ICAO standard, utilising Inmarsat’s global flight tracking ADS-C messaging service. ADS-C provides air traffic controllers with a constantly updated surveillance picture of their airspace, thereby allowing safe and efficient oceanic operations.

11,000 commercial passenger aircraft are already equipped with an Inmarsat satellite connection, representing over 90% of the world’s long haul commercial fleet. Airlines participating in the trial include Qantas and Virgin Australia.

Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “This is an important step in improving international airline safety and we are very pleased to be working with Airservices Australia and our industry partners to implement this enhanced flight tracking service.

“We applaud ICAO’s decision to announce the new tracking standard and believe that we are well placed to help implement the standard given our existing global satellite coverage and the time-frame proposed. Inmarsat’s heritage is in safety and we stand ready to coordinate normal and abnormal flight tracking services with the airlines and the ANSPs.”