EUROCONTROL Video Explains New Aircraft Locating System

GADSS, which will be implemented "over the next few years," will be a system that tracks aircraft all the time and in all conditions.

GADSS, the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System concept developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization, is coming closer to reality. ICAO set up the Ad-hoc Working Group on Aircraft Tracking last year in response to two high-profile lost aircraft incidents: the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines' MH370 and the long search for AF 447, the Air France jetliner that went down off Brazil's northeastern coast on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people aboard. ICAO decided these two incidents identified the need for an aircraft tracking system that works everywhere under all conditions.

The wreckage of AF 447 was finally found and recovered in April 2011.

The working group was charged with delivering a Concept of Operations by Oct. 1, 2014.

ICAO held its second High Level Safety Conference in Montreal last week, seeking to establish a global consensus about two "emerging safety issues," in ICAO's words – flight tracking and conflict zone risk management. EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, reported Feb. 9 that GADSS was presented during the conference. The agency has posted a video at this page explaining how it will work, including that an automatic deployed flight recorder will be ejected from the tail of an aircraft upon impact with land or water.

GADSS will be implemented "over the next few years," the video states.

"Importantly, our Member States have reinforced their collective responsibility for aviation safety at this event, and that its enhancement will only continue to be possible through cooperative, collaborative and coordinated efforts among all stakeholders under the leadership of ICAO," ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said Feb. 6 as the conference ended. "This is a clear testament to our ongoing mission and role and to the historic progress we have realized as a united global community."

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