Qatar Airways is set for live operations with a new flight-tracking service developed using Aireon’s space-based automatic dependent surveillance capabilities.
The airline is the launch customer of the service, branded GlobalBeacon, which was unveiled two years ago.
GlobalBeacon is being marketed by Aireon in partnership with flight-tracking specialist FlightAware.
Qatar Airways had previously stated, shortly after the tie-up between the two companies was disclosed, that it would sign up as the initial customer.
GlobalBeacon has been developed in response to tighter ICAO recommendations on aircraft surveillance – including position reporting every 15min, and every 60s in an emergency – following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March 2014.
Qatar Airways says the new service will provide “permanent minute-by-minute” reporting capabilities.
Chief executive Akbar Al Baker says this will “exceed” the requirements and recommendations for ICAO’s global aeronautical distress safety system concept, and that it “seamlessly integrates” with its existing fleet-management system, known as TOPS.
Qatar Airways adds it has been involved in testing and validation exercises for the service throughout its development.