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Carriers to soon deploy flight-tracking technology

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The technology generates automatic alerts when a plane goes off-bounds and keeps flight controllers updated

Sunny Sen

Domestic airlines are in the final stages of deploying the DGCA-mandated flight-tracking technology. The carriers are in talks with SITA, which provides airlines communication solution through its fully owned subsidiary, OnAir, to deploy the technology, said Maneesh Jaikrishna, VP, SITA – India and subcontinent.

Air Costa, Air Asia and Vistara have already deployed the solutions as they operate newer aircraft, which come with the tracking technology provided by SITA. Other including IndiGo, Air India, Jet Airways, Go Air and SpiceJet, are in advanced stages of deployment.

The flight-tracking technology allows airlines to stay in touch real-time with the ground through remote ground station equipment — which enables continuous monitoring of flights even when they are air-bound. It will establish connection between the pilot and the airlines’ operational control through live messaging.

Airlines have queued up to instal the new technology after the then DGCA chief, Prabhat Kumar, issued guidelines to all airlines on real-time tracking after a Malaysian airlines had a fatal accident in March 2014. .

The proprietary technology called FlightTracker generates automatic alerts when a plane goes off-bounds and keeps flight controllers updated. The International Civil Aviation Organisation had said earlier that flight tracking is a responsibility of the airlines.

Jaikrishna said the technology can be installed over and above the existing equipment that monitors the movement of aircraft and establishes connection with the airlines’ operator and the air-traffic control. Without stating specifics, he said the cost is nominal, which all airlines can easily bear.

Mittu Chandilya, CEO of Air Asia India, said: “Much of this data transfer over SITA OnAir technology is automated… It reduces human input, makes processes more streamlined and efficient and helps us improve performance while keeping cost down.”

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