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UN Reaches Airline Satellite Tracking Agreement After Loss Of Flight MH370

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Following the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March of last year, with 239 people aboard, of which only a few parts of debris have been found, the United Nations has agreed to using global satellite tracking for all passenger airlines.

The new deal will see countries being able to use specific radio frequencies for the monitoring of planes through satellites, rather than having to rely solely on radar-technology from the ground.

The target date for the full implementation of the technology is 2017, and will see aircraft capable of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) signals communicating with satellites for movement tracking. Currently, aircraft only send transmissions to other aircraft and to different air traffic control stations, which limits the ability to pinpoint their location when they're travelling in remote areas or over oceans.

The United Nations reached the agreement at the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva, which is dedicated to setting global standards for technology used in communications, and nations agreed to frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz for satellites and space stations to receive transmissions from aircraft.

"In reaching this agreement at WRC-15, ITU has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao in a statement. "ITU will continue to make every effort to improve flight tracking for civil aviation."

Of course, not everyone would agree with that. Regulators and airlines were criticized for their slow response time to French recommendations for tracking airlines after an Air France jet crashed in 2009.

The deadline for the installation of tracking technology is November 2016, and these aircraft will send their location at least once every 15 minutes or more in an emergency.

Via: The Verge

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