Great news for commercial aviation out today. Kudos to Inmarsat taking the lead here. Of course it is excellent PR for the firm, but it is huge news for airlines and passengers.
In advance of the conference on aircraft tracking being hosted by ICAO in Montreal on today, Inmarsat confirmed that it has proposed to ICAO a free global airline tracking service over the Inmarsat network, as part of the anticipated adoption of further aviation safety service measures by the world’s airlines following the loss of flight MH370. This service is being offered to all 11,000 commercial passenger aircraft, which are already equipped with an Inmarsat satellite connection, virtually 100% of the world’s long haul commercial fleet.
In addition to this free global airline tracking service, Inmarsat will also offer both an enhanced position reporting facility to support reduced in-flight aircraft separation, and a ‘black box in the cloud’ service, under which – on the back of certain defined trigger events (such as an unapproved course deviation) – historic and real-time flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder information can be streamed off an aircraft to defined aviation safety recipients.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “We welcome and strongly support ICAO’s decision to place the delivery of next generation aviation safety services at the heart of the industry’s agenda at its meeting on 12th May. Inmarsat has been providing global aviation safety services for over 20 years and we are confident that the proposals we have presented to ICAO and IATA represent a major contribution to enhancing aviation safety services on a global basis. In the wake of the loss of MH370, we believe this is simply the right thing to do.
“Because of the universal nature of existing Inmarsat aviation services, our proposals can be implemented right away on all ocean-going commercial aircraft using equipment that is already installed. Furthermore, our leading aviation safety partners are fully supportive of expanded use of the ADS-C Service through the Inmarsat network. This offer responsibly, quickly and at little or no cost to the industry, addresses in part the problem brought to light by the recent tragic events around MH370.”