The International Air Transport Association (IATA) confirmed that the Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF) expects to be in a position to deliver draft options for enhanced global aircraft tracking to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in September, leading to presentation to the industry before year-end.
Following the disappearance of MH370, IATA announced plans to establish an industry task force to develop recommendations to improve global flight tracking. The commitment made at the time of the task force announcement was to have them available by the end of 2014. IATA invited ICAO and key stakeholders throughout the aviation industry to participate in the ATTF. The first meeting of the group was held on 13 May 2014.
Separately, but in conjunction with IATA, ICAO held a Special Multi-disciplinary Meeting on Global Flight Tracking on 12-13 May. An outcome of the ICAO meeting was a consensus among Member States and the international air transport industry sector on the near-term priority to track airline flights. ICAO will also begin considering performance-based international standards, on a priority basis, to ensure broader adoption of airline flight tracking across the aviation system.
ICAO and IATA are working together to conduct a survey of vendors to identify options. Over the next few months, the ATTF will develop a set of performance-based recommendations to better ensure global aircraft tracking—meaning that there will likely be a number of options that airlines can consider. These recommendations will be developed through an assessment of available products and services used for tracking commercial aircraft against specific criteria, including factors such as performance parameters, coverage, security, and cost.
Additionally, the ATTF will define a minimum set of performance requirements that any system should achieve. The ATTF includes representatives from IATA, ICAO, Airlines for America, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, Civil Air Navigation Services Organization, Flight Safety Foundation, International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations, International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Airbus SAS, Bombardier Aerospace, and Embraer Commercial Aviation.
“Aviation stakeholders are united in their desire to ensure that we never face another situation where an aircraft simply disappears,” said Kevin Hiatt, IATA Senior Vice President, Safety and Flight Operations. “While States work through ICAO to develop and implement performance-based global standards, the industry is committed to moving forward with recommendations that airlines can implement now.”