Last updated: 02:26 PM ET, Fri June 05 2015

IATA Chief: Flight Tracking System Ready for Testing

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | June 05, 2015

IATA Chief: Flight Tracking System Ready for Testing

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

International Air Transport Association (IATA) CEO Tony Tyler said Thursday that a test of a new tracking system that would monitor the location of flights every 15 minutes is set to begin testing.

Speaking at IATA’s annual conference in Miami Beach, Tyler said the system would send out a "ping" to help track the location of a flight. The testing is set to begin in the Asia-Pacific region according to USA Today – not a surprising choice given the impetus for all this.

Last year, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 completely disappeared off radar screens after making a dramatic adjustment in flight plan en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It still has yet to be found.

Tyler said testing should be finished by the fall; IATA will take the results and try to institute a blanket set of rules to implement worldwide.

"The plan is that there will be some sort of 15-minute reporting," USA Today quoted Tyler as saying. "How it will work will be very much influenced by this implementation initiative that's going on."

Whether the airlines are on board remains to be seen.

Bloomberg News reported in December that airlines had reservations about putting in new technological upgrades, saying a 12-month timescale to implement the changes might be unrealistic.


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