24 APRIL 2017
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Three years after the disappearance of Flight MH370, Malaysia Airlines has become the first carrier to sign up to a new satellite flight tracking system able to monitor aircraft in areas where there is currently no surveillance.
The service is provided by US-based Aireon, FlightAware and Sitaonair and can also provide more regular updates on a plane's location, especially when travelling over oceans and other remote areas.
Sitaonair portfolio director Paul Gibson said aircraft deviating from a flight path could be identified more quickly as a result. "With access to up-to-the-minute reporting, Malaysia Airlines will know the location, heading, speed and altitude of all aircraft in its fleet at all times, and be alerted to any exceptions," he added.
Most flights transmit their positions using signals tracked from ground and space. The new service, available next year, will add to that coverage, using the Iridium Next satellite constellation which was launched earlier this year.
The fate of MH370 remains one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries. More than 120,000sq km (46,300mi) of the Indian Ocean was searched but revealed no sign of the aircraft.
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