Qatar Airways activates real-time Inmarsat global flight tracking

Inmarsat's flight tracking system has been developed with and for Qatar AirwaysQatar Airways has activated a new Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satellite-based flight tracking system for all its aircraft across the world.

Inmarsat says it worked with Qatar Airways to develop the solution, which covers its current route network of more than 150 destinations worldwide, in addition to any future routes that will be introduced.

It utilises Inmarsat’s existing SwiftBroadband (SB) satellite technology aboard Qatar’s fleet to provide the exact real-time location of the airline’s aircraft in terms of latitude and longitude.

Inmarsat’s Ben Griffin, Regional Director MEA, said it had been working with Qatar on the tracking solution for around two years.

“The system will work on all of Qatar’s SwiftBroadband-equipped aircraft,” he said. “It uses the latitude and longitude data that is part of the SB data packet from each aircraft. We process the data, repackage it and send it on to the airline, virtually instantaneously.

“It is then displayed on a large screen within Qatar Airways’ operations centre.”

Griffin said that the system works with a standard SB terminal and doesn’t need the new terminal design developed for SwiftBroadband Safety, which is due for certification later this year.

Qatar Airways signed a contract with Inmarsat following the successful conclusion of active performance trials across its fleet over the past year, which proved that the tracking system exceeds the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s new flight reporting standards.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said: “Qatar Airways has a reputation for pioneering ground-breaking new innovations in global aviation.

“Our partnership with Inmarsat for this global flight tracking system has once again reinforced our commitment to the highest levels of aviation safety for our passengers and employees.”

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, added: “Inmarsat is the backbone of global aviation safety, delivering over 35 million aircraft position reports last year alone.

“Unlike other systems that promise space-based global flight tracking somewhere in the future, we have been providing real time flight tracking for Qatar Airways for some time.

“We are pleased to be working with an airline that is so highly committed to safety and innovation.”

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