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Malaysia Airlines first to track fleet with satellites

Malaysia Airlines is the first the carrier to sign up to a new satellite flight tracking service.

The new technology means the airline will be able to monitor aircraft in areas where there is currently no surveillance.

This includes polar regions and remote areas of oceans not covered by existing systems.

Most flights currently transmit their position using signals tracked from both the ground and space. The new service will be available 2018.

The announcement comes three-years after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board. In January the search was suspended after years of trawling the 46,000-square mile zone west of Australia.

Malaysia signed a deal with companies Aireon, Flightaware and Sitaonair to provide the technology.

Aireon CEO Don Thoma said: “Malaysia Airlines has taken a lead role in the industry since the tragic events of 2014. Real-time, global flight tracking, anywhere on the planet will further its safety goals, by allowing Malaysia Airlines to track its aircraft anytime, anywhere."

No new avionics or modifications are needed for aircraft to take advantage of this service.

Flightaware CEO Daniel Baker said: “In addition to not requiring any new avionics or modifications to their aircraft, Malaysia Airlines will seamlessly gain real-time flight tracking ability of its fleet, even in areas where regional Air Navigation Service Providers do not have full surveillance. The result will be that Malaysia Airlines will have greater visibility of its aircraft’s exact location.”

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