Malaysia Airlines will soon be able to extensively track all its flights’ whereabouts, even in the most secluded of areas which are not covered by their current systems, thanks to a pioneering satellite system which is to be launched next year.
After the mysterious disappearance of the MH370 flight heading for Beijing in 2014, the airline has suffered a bad reputation.
However, it is probable that even this new technology would not have been able to save the MH370, the issue being that the onboard transmitter signal, which is used by all tracking systems to observe a plane’s whereabouts, was lost with many speculating that this was done intentionally.
A large proportion of the Indian Ocean was thoroughly searched to no avail, although some of the aircraft’s wreckage was discovered on Madagascar and some other African islands. The search came to a halt this year. Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines has been striving to rebuild its image and win back customers by offering enticing travel offers.
The carrier made an agreement with the satellite service providers, US-based Aireon, FlightAware and SITAONAIR to install the system.
Up until now, a plane’s location can be transmitted using tracking signals from both the ground and air.
The cutting edge satellite system will extend this surveillance by making use of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. The service will deliver constant notifications about a plane’s whereabouts even when flying over normally inaccessible regions and oceans, and also allow planes which veer off flight paths for some reason or other, to be spotted almost instantly.
“With access to up-to-the-minute reporting, Malaysia Airlines will know the location, heading, speed and altitude of all aircraft in its fleet, at all times, and be alerted to any exceptions,” commented SITAONAIR’s portfolio director Paul Gibson.
The airline’s CEO Izham Ismail, stated that the company was “proud” to become the first carrier to implement the new technology.