Etihad Airways has announced it has adopted new International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) flight tracking protocols ahead of a deadline set by the aviation body.
Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) recommendations were implemented before the June 1 deadline set by the General Civil Aviation Authority.
Having completed ICAO on November 8, 2018, Etihad meets the GADSS recommendation of tracking its flights with position updates every 15 minutes under normal conditions, as well as at the frequency of once-per minute when an aircraft is in distress, which exceeds ICAO’s 2021 requirements.
In partnership with multinational information technology company Sita, Etihad has achieved this capability with the adoption of SitaOnAir’s Aircom FlightTracker system, which uses FlightAware data services to provide the precise position, speed and altitude of the airlines airborne fleet worldwide.
FlightAware integrates global aircraft position data from the Aireon space-based automatic dependent surveillance, a broadcast (ADS-B) system hosted on the Iridium Next satellite constellation.
The Aireon ADS-B system provides universal coverage of ADS-B equipped aircraft with positions updated at least once per minute globally, enabling Etihad Airways to modernise its flight tracking capabilities across the entire globe.
Vice president of network operations at Etihad Airways John Wright said: “Safety of our guests and crew at Etihad Airways remains our number one priority.
“Implementing this technology across our entire network is an exciting and ground-breaking milestone and we’re thrilled to have achieved this before the local mandate is in full effect.”
As an international airline operating across some areas with limited ground-based receivers and air traffic surveillance, Etihad now has comprehensive coverage, eliminating gaps over the oceanic regions, large parts of the African continent and polar airspace.
Wright added: “In addition to the provision of real-time 4D aircraft positions, the technology offers other insightful capabilities to both anticipate and avoid adverse weather conditions and optimise fuel efficiency.”
By leveraging existing onboard ADS-B technology, Etihad Airways is able to operate this flight tracking system without the need to install new equipment on its aircraft.