The attention around search efforts following the accidents in oceanic airspace of both Air France Flight 447 (AF447) and Malaysia Flight 370 (MH370) left the general public largely surprised that not every aircraft is being tracked or surveilled in all regions of the world. Since then, Aircraft Tracking Task Force has been established by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and has submitted a report containing draft options for enhanced global aircraft tracking. Based on this, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended that aircraft provide position reports at least every 15 minutes by November 2018. In line with this, airlines are now exploring the seemingly ever-increasing number of options that would ensure compliance with this mandate.

This discussion has become somewhat clouded and there exists a great deal of confusion as to the differences between various solutions and especially with regards to what should be considered “surveillance” and what should be considered “tracking”. With no clear, accurate or standard industry definition that would help stakeholders make this distinction, this FREE whitepaper aims to eliminate misconceptions and act as a reference document for those looking to better understand the performance of different tracking and surveillance solutions so they can be correctly categorised.

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