Qatar Airways has become the launch customer for GlobalBeacon, a product solution created by FlightAware and Aireon that provides the airline with global, real-time flight tracking.
In September 2016, Qatar Airways announced that it would be the first airline to adopt this innovative technology that would feed directly into its integrated operations centre.
Two years later, Qatar Airways has announced that GlobalBeacon is now live and ready to provide the airline with global flight tracking, ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organisation Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System recommended timeline.
From the start of the product development cycle, the airline has been involved in beta testing and validation of GlobalBeacon, a technology that exceeds GADSS recommendations for flight tracking by providing airlines with minute-by-minute position updates for their aircraft at all times, anywhere in the world.
Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are thrilled to be the first airline in the world with a wide network to use space-based ADS-B technology, and we are honoured to collaborate with both FlightAware and Aireon on the development of this solution to achieve the highest level of flight tracking standards that exceed GADSS requirements and recommendations.
“As one of the leading airlines in the world, our goal is to consistently deliver the best service to all our customers.”
GlobalBeacon will enable Qatar Airways to position itself to respond proactively in the event of an emergency, facilitating communication between the aircraft operator and the controller with constant fleet monitoring, automated distress alerts and tools that make it easy to share information.
In March 2016, ICAO announced that GADSS was created to help improve the ability to detect commercial aircraft in remote locations.
The key components of GADSS recommend that aircraft report their position to the airline’s operations centre at a minimum of once every 15 minutes under normal flight circumstances.
However, if an aircraft should become in distress, position reports are then to be provided every minute.
In light of this, the GlobalBeacon product, is the first of its kind being fully compliant with GADSS standards for flight tracking and will now provide a permanent minute-by-minute reporting capability, far exceeding the ICAO recommendations.