Airlines need to install satellite monitoring: paper

ABU DHABI: The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airways MH370 in March raised the issue of current technologies used to monitor and locate aircraft in our skies, commented a UAE daily.

“Land-based radar systems failed to keep track of the missing Boeing 777 plane as it vanished from screens on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was suggested then that real-time monitoring by satellite-based systems could keep an eye on all planes in the skies, making sure that such an incident could never happen again,” said Gulf News in its editorial today.

It continued, “But never say never. On Sunday morning, an AirAsia plane on a regular flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore vanished off radar screens. An immediate search and rescue operation got underway, but no trace of the plane had been found, leaving investigators to again ponder the fate of the Airbus A320 and fear that it is at the bottom of the Java Sea.

“Once more, we are left to ponder the mystery as relatives of the 162 on board wait for news of what happened. But if we knew where to start to look, the waiting wouldn’t be as painful and torturous. That’s why real-time satellite-based monitoring systems for aircraft need to be deployed sooner rather than later.” “Building the system into all new planes and retrofitting old ones can be achieved by a mandated order by aircraft regulators. With fuel costs falling, airline operators have little reason why the retrofits shouldn’t be undertaken now,” concluded the Dubai based daily.