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A satellite air traffic surveillance system capable of tracking aircraft anywhere around the planet has been launched.
The system, which will start tracking planes over the north Atlantic, has been developed to fill the holes in radar coverage – some 70% of global airspace – that became apparent in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
UK and Canadian air traffic control services will be the first to trial the system.
“For the first time in history, we can surveil all ADS-B-equipped aircraft anywhere on earth,” said Don Thoma, chief executive of Aireon, the firm which has developed the new system.