UN aviation body ICAO recommends new aircraft tracking standards

Posted on 5 Feb 2015 by Tim Brown

The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended the adoption of new standards for tracking aircraft in flight to prevent incidence like the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which went missing without a trace on 8 March 2014.

The ICAO, backed by the more than 850 participants at the United Nations aviation body’s 2015 High-Level Safety Conference, has recommended the adoption of a 15-minute aircraft tracking standard.

Concerns over aircraft tracking and risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones were brought to the fore in the wake of the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, and the disappearance of another Malaysian Airlines flight upon take off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“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,” ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said in a press release.

“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 the [IACO] Council as early as this fall,” Mr. Aliu explained.

The Member States on Tuesday also supported developing a prototype online resource for conflict zone risk assessments.

“The Task Force we convened after the loss of MH17 identified that both States and airlines could benefit from greater information sharing on conflict zones, including risks assessments for a given conflict area, and that a centralized online resource could help facilitate the exchange of information needed to achieve that objective,” Mr Aliu said.