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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

A new tracking system that can find stricken aircraft anywhere in the world is based in Co Clare

It’s belived that the system could have helped find the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH-370.

The system is the first of its kind in the world.
The system is the first of its kind in the world.
Image: Shutterstock

A NEW WORLDWIDE system that will allow emergency services to locate a crashed aircraft has been launched in Co Clare.

The world’s first ever global Aircraft Location and Emergency Response Tracking (Alert) service can track an aircraft in difficulty anywhere in the world.

The Aireon Alert service is the first of its kind in the world and will based at the IAA’s North Atlantic communications centre in Ballygirreen in Clare.

It’s believed that had such a system been in place when Malaysian Airlines flight MH-370 disappeared in 2014, the aircraft’s last recorded position would have been known and the Boeing 777 jet could have been found.

At the press conference and launch, Aerion CEO Don Thoma confirmed that the Aireon system was used following the crashes of Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethio­pian Airlines flight 302 in March of this year. Aireon’s analysis showed that both flights displayed similar flight profile before they crashed.

Until now, only 30% of the Earth’s surface was monitored through conventional ground radar surveillance. With the new system, users now have access to exact location information for aircraft in distress on-demand, which will dramatically benefit global emergency response efforts.

The system, which is now live, is a free service available to commercial aircraft operators/airlines, aviation regulators and search and rescue organisations. 

Almost 200 organisations have already signed up for the system.

Irish Aviation Authority CEO Peter Kearney said that they are “proud to be powering Aireon Alert for the entire globe”. 

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Pat Flynn

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