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Real-time flight tracking possible, not expensive: Airbus official
by Staff Writers
Berlin (XNA) May 23, 2014

File image.

Real time tracking of commercial flight is possible and the cost is not high, an official from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said on Tuesday. "The technical capabilities are there right now and not very expensive," said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer (customers) in a press conference at the opening day of Berlin Air Show 2014.

He said since the accident of Air France 447 flight -- an Airbus A330 -- his company has been promoting more digital transmission of aircraft location and data, adding that "especially when something goes wrong with the aircraft, a lot of information that's already in the black box could be sent by satellites."

But aircraft manufacturers alone cannot realize real-time tracking, he said. Global regulation from organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) would also be needed.

Last week, the United Nations body held a special meeting at its headquarters in Canada on flight security and tracking following the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

The Boeing 777 plane lost all contact en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board, and has not been found until now.

A task group consisting of regulators, airliners, manufacturers and pilots is working on the applicable tracking solutions. ICAO said recommendations would be available by September.

Officials from the organization said a global standard on real-time aircraft tracking would be developed as the next step to improve air security. However, it was unclear how long the process would take.

Source: Xinhua News Agency


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