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Space-based aircraft surveillance will greatly improve flight tracking when an aircraft flies out of radar coverage, something that was called for following the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
Now the allocation has been made, it is expected to come into force immediately and will allow ICAO – as the UN agency which writes the rulebook by which aviation operates – to go away and continue its work on developing future standards safe in the knowledge that the frequencies have been allocated by the International Telecommunication Union, its UN communication technology counterpart.
That will be welcomed by businesses such as Aireon, developer of the world’s first space-based global air traffic surveillance system. Its satellite-based ADS-B system promises the potential of near real-time position reporting and as such offers the prospect of huge safety, efficiency and search and rescue gains for airlines flying through remote airspace.