Aircraft IT Logo

Skip Navigation Links
November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 August 2010

SITA OnAir Answers Industry Challenge For Global Flight Tracking

14/04/2015

SITA OnAir
Connect with Aircraft IT
Sign up to the Aircraft IT twitter feed for all the aviation industry's latest IT related news
Click here to learn about free Membership to Aircraft IT




SITA OnAir Answers Industry Challenge For Global Flight Tracking

Ground based application allows airlines to track aircraft


Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg, 14 April 2015 –
Malaysia Airlines will be the first carrier to implement global flight tracking using SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, starting this summer. The airline has 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.