Malaysia Airlines has signed up to a new system which will track its planes minute-by-minute – three years after the unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 with 239 crews and passengers on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014, according to New Straits Times Online on Thursday.
The new space-based tracking system due to become operational from 2018 was developed by US-0based Aireon which is working with FlightAware on plane tracking. It will be delivered to Malaysian Airlines by Sitaonair which provides connectivity products to airlines and works with FlightAware on tracking.
Instead of sending tracking signals to ground stations – which means planes’ locations can be lost over oceans or remote areas – the new system will beam them to satellites providing global coverage. It uses existing data from planes and does not require any modifications to aircraft.
Aireon is placing its data receivers on Iridium satellites. The first 10 of the planned 66 low-earth orbit satellites were sent up in January 2017.
Airoen and FlightAware signed up Qatar Airways as the launch customer for the GlobalBeacon tracking system service in September. Malaysian Airlines is the first Sitaonair customer to sign up to the system.