China Adopts 15-Minute Aircraft Tracking Plan

On December 1, China officially adopted a new tracking standard that requires all commercial aircraft to report their positions at least every 15 minutes, as part of a global tracking initiative in the aftermath of the disappearance of a Malaysian jetliner. The new move is intended to enhance civil aviation safety monitoring and strengthen the industry's safety assurance system, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement on Thursday. All Chinese airlines are required to send their aircraft's real-time position, including longitude, latitude, altitude and so on to the ground operational control division via the current airborne equipment under the supervision system every 15 minutes or even more frequently, the CAAC said. Last November, a landmark agreement to use satellites to track passenger flights anywhere in the world was reached by 160 countries at the World Radio Communication Conference in Geneva. Under the agreement, all airliners in the world are requested to report their location every 15 minutes and a specific radio frequency will be allocated for global flight tracking in civil aviation. China plans to achieve seamless global tracking of its commercial flights before the end of 2020, and establish an aircraft tracking and monitoring system before the end of 2025. Before, the aviation watchdog has compiled the construction scheme and implementation roadmap for the system as well as the "Guidelines for Air Carrier Routine Aircraft Tracking Supervision and Control" and the related demonstration instruction material.

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