At the International Conference Flight Location & Data Recovery 2017 May 9 to 11 in Germany, Eurocontrol and other industry and government representatives discussed the implementation of the global aeronautical distress and safety system (GADSS). Eurocontrol said that GADSS is “moving forward,” with the first step scheduled for 2018.
“The first step will be the implementation of aircraft tracking by airlines to be used in oceanic airspace without automated surveillance.” Eurocontrol said. The second step, in 2021, "will be the implementation (forward fit) of autonomous distress tracking (automatically activated tracking in case of distress) and means to recover the flight data." The European air navigation safety organization said most challenges fall in the implementation of that second step, or "on how to interpret ‘autonomous’ distress tracking, or how to reconcile different manufacturer approaches."
GADSS aims to ensure timely detection of distressed aircraft, as well as the timely retrieval of flight recorder data, among other items. But Eurocontrol said the challenge is not in the technology, but in information management. On a global scale, Eurocontrol said GADDS aims to ensure that necessary search and rescue information is readily available when needed.