ICAO documenting progress on flight tracking

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has launched a new centralised online information area for aircraft tracking developments.

The new aircraft tracking information area, available on the ICAO website, provides a detailed timeline and all supporting reports and documentation relating to the call for and work in developing the world’s first global aircraft tracking requirements.

ICAO member states recommended the adoption of a new 15-minute aircraft tracking standard during discussions among the over 850 participants to the UN specialised agency’s 2015 high-level safety conference in February earlier this year.

ICAO is however being urged to put on hold a new 15-minute aircraft tracking standard tabled on the advice of a group which it established called the Normal Aircraft Tracking Implementation Initiative – or NATII.

In a report that was considered on September 22, ICAO’s Air Navigation Commission was urged to delay any baseline standard for another two years. Even so, ICAO maintains that the recommended standard is still expected to be adopted at the end of 2015.

It was always slated for adoption during the coming 2015 November Council Session, and was expected to be associated with an applicability date one year later (end-2016),” said an ICAO spokesman. “It’s the applicability timeline that is currently being reviewed in light of the NATII results and other considerations now being discussed in our Air Navigation Commission, which provides technical advice to the Council on these matters.”

The delay is being justified as offering member states and the industry certainty and time for regulations, procedures, installation and training to be completed.


The new information area aggregating the documentation and developments on aircraft tracking responds to calls from the high level safety conference to lead the conduct of a Normal Aircraft Tracking Implementation Initiative (NATII) using existing technologies

Date​ ​Event
​1 June 2009 ​Air France Flight 447
​8 March 2014 ​Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
​1 April 2014 ​Creation of an Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF) by IATA
​12 – 13 May 2014 ​ICAO hosted the Special Multidisciplinary Meeting on Global Flight Tracking (MMGFT) [Recommendations] [Meeting Documentation]
​11 November 2014 ​Report and Recommendations produced by the Aircraft Tracking Task Force [Report]
​12 June 2015 ​Global Aeronautical Distress & Safety System (GADSS) concept of  operations made by the Adhoc Working Group on Aircraft Tracking [Report]
​2 – 5 February 2015 The Second ICAO High Level Safety Conference (HLSC 2015)
[Presentation] [Working Papers]
​1 September 2015 ​Normal Tracking Implementation Initiative (NATII) update
[Report] [Australian Enhanced Flight Tracking Evaluation]