UN Aviation Want Real-Time Tracking Of Aircraft

In recent years, we’ve had tragic incidents in which aircraft have gone missing, leaving many wondering what happened to the people on board. To prevent further loss, the UN’s international civil aviation organization (ICAO) want to create a system to enable real-time tracking of aircraft.

The three most significant tweaks to Annex 6 of the Chicago Convention (the document outlining how aircraft, airports and anything operating in their airspace needs to work) are as follows:

  • Aircraft must carry “autonomous distress tracking devices” that can “transmit location information at least once every minute in distress circumstances.”
  • The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) must be able to store at least 25 hours of recording, “so that they cover all phases of flight for all types of operations.”
  • Aircraft must be “equipped with a means to have flight recorder data recovered and made available in a timely manner.”

These moves mean that even if you were unable to locate the plane immediately and recover the CVR or flight recorder, the information and details regarding the flight would still be accessible. ICAO’s president Olumyiwa Benard Aliu states that in the case of an accident “the location of the site will be known immediately to within six nautical miles”.

While this may be late for some, the new rules which airline operators have until 2021 to adopt, could prevent others from asking the question of where.

More Than 400 Flights Cancelled Due To Technical Glitch

So it’s the weekend and you’re flying out somewhere nice? The problem is your flight has been cancelled, and so has over 400 other flights. The reason, a bug in the system.

This weekend over 440 flights was cancelled while hundreds more were delayed on the east coast of America this Saturday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that they believe a center in Leesburg, Virginia may be the cause of the problem. The problem itself being that a bug in the tracking software resulted in the system going haywire.

While expressing its resolve to work with carriers to resume normal service they expressly stated that the incident had nothing to do with “an accident or hacking”.

It should be noted that while tens of thousands of passengers were affected in the cancellations and delays, severe and large-scale weather systems can cause cancellations numbering upwards of 1,000 per day.

With technical problems ranging from the wide systems used in this example to the systems used on a single flight, with researchers claiming they were able to issue commands to a plane’s engines through its WiFi. Is it time for us to upgrade the technology we use on an everyday basis and that a lot of us take for granted when going on holiday or travelling for business?

Thank you Yahoo News and Engadget for the information.

Image courtesy of Picture Depot.

Delta’s iPad App Now Allows Movie and TV Show Streaming during Flights

Passengers aboard Delta airline flights are now able to stream movies and TV shows to their chosen device via Delta’s own app. I guess things have changed since the last time I was on a flight anywhere, I was always told to turn everything off until the plane was to the right altitude and the seat belt sign turned off. Anyway, last year the FAA changed its rules on personal electronic devices allowing them to be used on all stages of the flight. Handy for when there are kids who have no idea how to turn any of the settings off.

In flight streaming has been on trial for a while now, starting on Qantas Airlines back in 2011, followed by Hawaiian Airlines almost a year ago and now it’s standard service aboard United Airlines since may this year. So much for turning off everything huh? Well I guess IOS and Android can get rid of their Airplane modes, won’t be needing them, ever.

The app itself allows passengers to stream other stuff too, flight paths, destination guides, the ability to book more flights whilst you’re on a flight. (MADNESS) iPads are becoming a bigger part of the way we “communicate” and complete tasks. American Airlines has scrapped all paperwork that pilots use and has moved it all onto iPads, this change was approved by the FAA back in 2011.

Thanks to 9to5mac for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of 9to5mac.

Phone Glitch Had Major Repercussions Upon UK Airports This Weekend

An issue regarding a phone glitch at the National Air Traffic Service (Nats) has had flights in and out of the UK grounded this weekend. Airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Cardiff and Glasgow were all affected by the phone glitch.

Apparently the cause of the problem was generated by a complicated internal telephone system, which failed completely. The system is used by controllers at traffic control centers such as the ones in Swanwick and Hampshire. However, Nats has announced at 19:30 GMT on Saturday that the problem had been fixed, but some airports had delays continue into Sunday. The crash happened when the system tried to switch from the nighttime mode to the daytime mode.

During the downtime, none of their computers worked, and instead of 3,500 flights, they have only been able to process around 2,800. Ryanair was most annoyed as it had to cancel many its flights and it could not sell so many overpriced sandwiches or charge for people carrying more than a paper napkin. Ryanair noted that 300 of its flights were delayed on Saturday, having 12 cancelled.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information