ICAO members agree on aircraft tracking standard

Member states of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommended the adoption of a new 15-minute aircraft tracking standard at the UN aviation body’s 2015 High Level Safety Conference in Montreal, Canada in early-February.


ICAO members agree on aircraft tracking standard


Member states of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommended the adoption of a new 15-minute aircraft tracking standard at the UN aviation body’s 2015 High Level Safety Conference in Montreal, Canada in early-February. The recommended standard is performancebased and not prescriptive, meaning that global airlines would be able to meet it using the available and planned technologies and procedures they deem suitable.

“This new standard will be an important first step in providing a foundation for global flight tracking and the future implementation of the more comprehensive ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS),” said ICAO Council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “Through an expedited process, it will now be sent to our member states before the end of the month for formal comment and we’re anticipating its adoption by Council as early as this fall.”

The concept of operations for the GADSS was developed by ICAO over the course of 2014, following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the special Multidisciplinary Meeting on Global Flight Tracking that ICAO convened soon after. The GADSS concept calls for a three-tiered approach for global aircraft tracking over the longterm, covering normal, abnormal, and distress conditions.

GADSS incorporates a wide range of functions, including communications, search and rescue organisations and practices, routine aircraft tracking and aircraft location reporting in emergencies. Among the activities under the latter topic is agreement on use of equipment such as emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) or automatic deployable flight recorder (ADFR).