China Airlines ready to adopt new flight tracking measures

Staff writer, with CNA, DOHA

Wed, Jun 04, 2014 - Page 4

China Airlines (CAL), the nation’s largest carrier, is ready to adopt any new flight tracking measures the International Air Transport Association (IATA) might initiate later this year, company chairman Sun Huang-hsiang (孫洪祥) said during the association’s annual meeting in Doha.

“We have a state-of-the-art fleet, and our personnel is properly trained,” Sun said on the sideline of the three-day meeting that began on Sunday.

The new global standard to be set by the industry in response to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March is likely to involve numerous parties across the world to deal with issues of national defense, air traffic control and flight safety, Sun said.

Although the new measures is likely to be complicated, Sun said he was optimistic about their implementation and they should better protect aircraft safety.

Earlier in the meeting, IATA director-general and CEO Tony Tyler said the association would send draft recommendations for improving global tracking capabilities to the International Civil Aviation Organization by the end of September.

“The loss of MH370 points us to an immediate need,” Tyler said. “A large commercial airliner going missing without a trace for so long is unprecedented in modern aviation. And it must not happen again.”

Data collection will guide the IATA’s endeavors on safety improvements along with flight tracking, Tyler said.

He added that the association was moving forward with its Global Aviation Data Management project, which would create the world’s largest resource of operational data.

Tyler said it remained unclear at the moment the potential cost for the improved flight tracking.

However, upon the establishment of a tracking standard and database, the airline industry could move forward to predict the risk of accidents and ensure that they will not happen, he said.