A new plan will force all airlines to track their aircraft using a system to provide location updates. The system could be up and running as soon as 2016.
A majority of the 191 member states of the United Nations body International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) put their support behind the plan at a summit this week. They want it implemented in the shortest time possible.
The new system will allow airlines to monitor the positions of their aircraft at 15-minute intervals, which escalate to every minute during emergencies.
The proposal is due to be ratified in November this year by the ICAO Council. Delegates at the summit also agreed to the creation of a single repository that would contain warnings on flying over war zones, to overcome the fragmented information that currently exists.
The proposals come in the wake of what was one of the worst years for modern aviation, marked by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines’ MH370 and MH17’s downing over a war zone in Ukraine.