- The Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF) is now expected to present its findings to ICAO in December 2014
- Some airlines have expressed opposition to the cost of implementing a future enhanced flight tracking system
The Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF), led by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is expected to present options for enhanced global flight tracking to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in December 2014 - three months later than originally intended.
The ATTF was formed in May 2014 following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on 8 March. As well as IATA and ICAO, it includes other transnational bodies such as the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization, as well as aircraft manufacturers Boeing, Airbus, and Embraer.
More than 30 companies specialising in flight monitoring equipment submitted proposals soon after the ATTF was set up. These include Inmarsat's 'black box in the cloud' and the SITA AIRCOM Server Flight Tracker solution. Hani El-Assaad, SITA president for the Middle East, Africa, and India, told IHS Jane's that the AIRCOM Server Flight Tracker service will be available to airlines by December 2014. The solution is being evaluated by Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines. It merges available Future Air Navigation System (FANS) technology with the AIRCOM airline dispatcher and operations centre system.
In parallel with the ATTF's search for practical solutions, ICAO is considering a concept of operations to share flight tracking data, as well as performance-based international standards, to ensure global acceptance of airline flight tracking. However, the onus on airlines to foster a practical solution, rather than air navigation service providers or aviation regulators, has created some tension.
Expectations were tempered on 19 September, when IATA director general Tony Tyler warned that the ATTF recommendations "will not be a final document or a silver bullet solution". IATA admitted it was unable to meet the original deadline as the ATTF required further guidance from ICAO.
One former senior ICAO official, speaking to IHS Jane's on condition of anonymity, attacked the ATTF as a "loose group of ...Read more on Janes Airports Review