After a report issued by the Malaysian government regarding the catastrophic Flight 370 of the Malaysian Airlines recommended airlines all over the world to incorporate real-time tracking of all their airplanes, the Indian government instructed all Indian airlines to do the same.
According to Mashable, by the end of this year, the International Air Transport Association will put forward its own list of recommendations related to real-time aircraft tracking, but the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation wants a strategy in place to cover the period in between. According to a press release issued by the Indian government, from now on all Indian airplanes will use the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, through which short messages are delivered from the airplane to a ground station enabling officials to track its whereabouts.
In the event of the ACARS malfunctioning, another tool known as the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast would be utilized. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the ADS-B uses GPS receivers to broadcast the location of the airplane. In the event of both the ACARS and the ADS-B malfunctioning, the flight crews are required to report the airplane’s altitude, coordinates and speed to an air traffic control station at regular fifteen minute intervals.
These measures are being introduced by the Indian government at a time when the search for the doomed Flight 370 enters into its third month. The plane was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and it reportedly had 239 passengers on board when it disappeared over the Indian Ocean on the 8th of March, 2014. The authorities lost contact with the flight almost midway through its journey, and all over the world it is now believed that the plane crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
All the tracking systems on board the airplane went offline long before it crashed, complicating the task of determining the flight’s exact location. The plane has still not been recovered.