As more aircraft equip with ADS-B OUT–which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies–business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites. While the FAA offers a way for operators to request blocking of particular aircraft from FAA radar data feeds, there currently is no physical means to block reception of mode-S transponder or ADS-B signals by a simple receiver.
Last week’s conference on aircraft tracking in Kuala Lumpur came just two months after the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Multimedia requested help to determine the best methods for watching commercial aircraft in real time following the March 8 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The preliminary report on the accident, issued last month, recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organization examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft.
In the wake of the early March disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the International Civil Aviation Organization announced a special meeting in May of government and industry experts on the global tracking of airline flights. The goal is to increase current momentum on deliberations over the specific aircraft- and satellite-based capabilities needed to permit global implementation of worldwide flight tracking.
Online flight-planning service FltPlan.com has launched a completely redesigned website. The new site, which the company said is simplified and easier to navigate, features all the same previous tools, such as weather/notams, airports and FBOs, area fuel prices, nearby airports, quick trip information, digital charts, and aircraft tracking. This is the first major redesign of FltPlan.com since it started 14 years ago. Pilots create more than five million flight plans annually using FltPlan’s website and apps.
The FAA released its final policy last week regarding the procedures for allowing aircraft owners and operators to have their flight information blocked from online flight tracker sites.
After only four years in Brazil, Blue Sky Network, which offers satellite tracking of and communication with vehicles operating in the air, on land and at sea, has built up a sizable client base, including the Líder fleet that serves Petrobras, the Helisul air taxi operator and energy exploration company HRT. Here at LABACE show-goers can see how Blue Sky’s New SkyRouter and other systems work at the company’s display in the exhibition hangar (Stand 5020).
Flight Explorer, exhibiting at the ABACE show here in Shanghai for the first time, claims to offer much more than flight tracking, although that is one of the company’s core products. It can track aircraft equipped with Iridium satellite communications systems anywhere in the world, and provide a private feed of that data to customers who operate those aircraft. Flight Explorer (Booth H525) is a Sabre group company, and also provides flight tracking via global radar feeds of aircraft flying in airspace controlled by the U.S.
The voluntary fleet grounding at Avantair apparently is continuing into its sixth day. Avantair told AIN earlier this week that it stood down its entire fleet of about 60 Piaggio Avantis on Saturday to conduct safety checks. According to sources, the action was prompted by a July 28 incident in which an Avantair Avanti shed an elevator in flight.
FlightAware has added live general aviation flight tracking services in Europe, as well as two new products: FlightAware Global and FBO ToolBox Europe. FlightAware Global is an enterprise flight tracking product for aircraft operators that combines FlightAware’s web interface with dozens of data sources for seamless flight tracking in more than 40 countries across Europe, North America and Australia.
FlightAware (Stand 2065), the U.S.-based flight tracking company, is introducing two new web-based products this week in its debut appearance at the EBACE show. FlightAware Global is aimed at aircraft operators, while FBO ToolBox Europe is designed for FBOs and handlers.
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