Global Aircraft Tracking: The Issues

The growing frustration with the speed of industry efforts to implement better aircraft tracking is understandable. 2014 will go down as the year that threw the spotlight on the industry’s weak spot: how to locate a missing aircraft flying over oceanic airspace, polar routes or remote terrain – all out of the range of radar.

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When Will Airlines Improve Their Tracking Technologies?

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last year was a reminder that even as the skies have become more congested, communications between planes and air traffic controllers is badly out of date. Most countries still rely on 1950s-era radio communications and radar technologies and have not yet fully taken advantage of the smoother air traffic control procedures that satellite-based technologies such as the global positioning system (GPS) could provide. Progress to modernize these systems has been slow, but it is happening—countries are working to replace older aviation communication technologies,…

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