Three major carriers are to install flight-tracking software across their fleets this month.

The trio – Singapore Airlines, Royal Brunei and Norwegian – brings the number of airlines using the SITA technology to 15.

OnAir FlightTracker was developed by the airline IT organisation following the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in March last year.

Malaysian Airlines has already deployed the product on all its aircraft, while Oman Air and 10 other carriers which SITA says it cannot identify for commercial reasons use varying versions of the product.

Speaking at the 2015 SITA Air Transport IT Summit in Belgium, OnAir chief executive Ian Dawkins said the software used existing aircraft equipment and air traffic control (ATC) data to continuously monitor a flight's progress.

He says airlines do not have to buy or install new hardware and that implementing the flight tracker takes only a few days. "The software tracks the flight progress of an aircraft at 15-minute intervals," he says. "If after 14 minutes no information has been received, the system triggers an alert. Tracking can also be carried out every minute, if the airline or a local authority chooses to do so."

Dawkins added that the software was met and exceeded IATA and ICAO standards.

Geir Steiro, Norwegian's chief operating officer, says his airline has a strict selection process for every new solution it implements. "This is particularly true for something as important as aircraft tracking," he says. "Using multiple sources of data, we can track all our aircraft at 15-minute intervals or less. It provides the most accurate data, using 'smoothing' to combine position sources."

He adds: "Safety is paramount for a solution like this. FlightTracker's automated alerting system allows us to manage our fleet of 100 aircraft and the additional 200 that will enter the fleet in the coming years safely and efficiently. A bonus feature is the unique way it integrates ATC data into our systems, which will give us valuable insight into our operations and how we can improve them."

The software also helps airlines make decisions to do with the weather: it forecasts areas of turbulence up to 24h in advance.

Dawkins says the software will in the future track aircraft flying in "corridors" and raise an alert if a deviation from the flightpath takes place.

SITA provides tracking data to its members free of charge during emergency situations.

Source: Cirium Dashboard