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ICAO member states recommend new flight tracking performance standard
4 February 2015

Member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended the adoption of a new 15-minute aircraft tracking Standard during discussions amongst the over 850 participants to the UN aviation body’s 2015 High Level Safety Conference.

The recommended Standard is performance-based 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),” commented ICAO Council President Dr. 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 2014, subsequent to the disappearance of flight MH370 and the special Multidisciplinary Meeting on Global Flight Tracking which ICAO convened soon after. It calls for a three-tiered approach for global aircraft tracking over the long-term, covering normal, abnormal and distress conditions.

The Standard recommended by ICAO’s High Level Safety Conference is considered to be consistent with the long-term GADSS concept. ICAO’s intention is to coordinate regional exercises shortly after the standard is adopted, aiding States with both the Standard’s introduction and their ability to respond to abnormal flight behaviour scenarios in an integrated manner.