ICAO Forges Global Tracking Agreement
The International Civil Aviation Organization on May 14 agreed to work toward tracking airline flights, no matter their global location or destination. The specially convened ICAO meeting in Montreal on May 13 and 14 also established a framework for medium- and long-term future tracking efforts.
“Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been an unprecedented event for aviation, and we have responded here in a similarly unprecedented manner,” commented ICAO Council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. In parallel with a task force assembled by the International Air Transport Association, ICAO will begin developing a concept of how flight-tracking data will be shared, with whom, and under what circumstances. The UN aviation organization will begin considering priority-based performance-based international standards, to ensure broader adoption of airline flight tracking throughout the aviation system. The meeting recognized the challenges states face when coordinating their search-and-rescue efforts across national and regional areas of responsibility, emphasizing the value of regular practice exercises to identify procedural or operational gaps.
The strong levels of international cooperation and resource sharing on the MH370 SAR efforts demonstrated to date were also recognized.