[Avionics Magazine 09-21-2016] A global flight tracking solution called GlobalBeacon has emerged through a partnership between space-based air traffic surveillance provider Aireon and flight tracking data company FlightAware. According to the companies, the solution will provide airlines with 100 percent global flight tracking.
The GlobalBeacon system is designed to ensure airlines are in compliance with Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) recommendations and requirements. Announced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in March of 2016, GADSS was created largely in response to the disappearance of MH370, and is designed to help prevent the loss of commercial aircraft in distress over remote locations. The core of the GADSS recommendations and requirements stipulate that aircraft report their position to their airline operations center no less than once every 15 minutes. Should an aircraft become in distress, however, position reports then must be provided every minute.
GlobalBeacon looks to provide airlines with minute-by-minute, global tracking of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B)-equipped aircraft by 2018, when Aireon’s space-based ADS-B aircraft surveillance network becomes operational.
A combination of data from Aireon's space-based ADS-B network and FlightAware's flight tracking web interface and worldwide flight tracking data — including origin, destination, flight plan route, position, and estimated time of arrival — power the solution. When implemented, the companies say airlines will be instantly equipped to meet GADSS requirements and recommendations, with no new avionics required.