Cost of real-time tracking no worry for airlines

Proposals for better tracking due by end of September

The world’s airlines agree about the need for real-time aircraft tracking following the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, and costs involved would not be a major concern, a senior International Civil Aviation Organisation official says.

Member countries on ICAO’s governing council have already agreed on the need for global tracking but have not yet committed to a solution or timeline. Instead the airline group IATA said it would come up with proposals for better tracking by the end of September, with members implementing the measures voluntarily until rules are put in place.

“In principle the community has agreed. There’s no question this is something we need to do,” Nancy Graham, director of ICAO’s Air Navigation Bureau, said. “We are developing the voluntary path and a rule for the future. We intend to have regulation to support that globally.”

She said the cost of implementing new standards would not be a problem for airlines. “They’re absolutely in solidarity. There’s no price you can put on safety or certainty on where the aircraft are.”


[photo courtesy Riga International Airport]


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