Inmarsat has partnered Airservices Australia in the first trial of a new 15-minute tracking standard for commercial aircraft.
The announcement follows a resolution on February 6 by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to adopt a new tracking standard for commercial aircraft.
The trial will be run on flights to and from Australia.
ICAO is the United Nations body tasked with developing international civil aviation standards and recommended practices. Inmarsat is working with industry partners, Airservices Australia, Qantas and Virgin Australia in developing the operational concept for the trial, using Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Contract (ADS-C) satellite technology in Australia's oceanic regions. Airservices Australia is the first Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) to trial the ICAO standard, utilising Inmarsat's global flight tracking ADS-C messaging service.
ADS-C provides air traffic controllers with a constantly updated surveillance picture of their airspace, thereby allowing safe and efficient oceanic operations. 11,000 commercial passenger aircraft are already equipped with an Inmarsat satellite connection, representing over 90 per cent of the world's long haul commercial fleet.
Airlines participating in the trial include Qantas and Virgin Australia. Inmarsat chief executive, Rupert Pearce, said it was an important step in improving international airline safety.
"We are very pleased to be working with Airservices Australia and our industry partners to implement this enhanced flight tracking service," he said. "We applaud ICAO's decision to announce the new tracking standard and believe that we are well placed to help implement the standard given our existing global satellite coverage and the time-frame proposed.
"Inmarsat's heritage is in safety and we stand ready to coordinate normal and abnormal flight tracking services with the airlines and the ANSPs."