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Pacific Ocean flights to be tracked every 14 minutes

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 25, 2015

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A partnership between Airservices, Airways New Zealand and the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has led to aircraft operating over the Pacific Ocean being tracked every 14 minutes.

Airservices said in a statement the three air traffic management providers were using the existing Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) technology to monitor an aircraft’s position when operating over the Pacific Ocean every 14 minutes, compared with between 30-40 minutes previously.

The move satisfies an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommendation, which called for the tracking of fights that occur over water every 15 minutes or less.

“It is rewarding to see Airservices’ close cooperation with NZ and US result in this extra boost to passenger confidence in the safety of flying over vast expanses of oceans such as the Pacific,” Airservices executive general manager for air traffic control Greg Hood said in a statement.


Airservices said it conducted a proof-of-concept trial in January, before extending the 14-minute reporting standard to all Australian airspace at the end of May. Airways NZ and the US FAA followed in May and June, respectively.

“As well as achieving safety benefits, more frequent tracking will allow controllers to provide a higher level of service to flights, including more efficient routing around poor weather to minimise passenger delays and reduce fuel consumption and emissions,” Airservices said in a statement.

“Airservices will continue to work closely with our near neighbours such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to continue building satellite tracking coverage in the Pacific region.”

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Comments (2)

  • Alex


    a lot can happen in 14 or 15 minutes !

  • Craigy


    At say 8 miles a minute, the area of search would be 120nm radius based on the last reported position. That’s a lot of ocean!

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