International flights to be better tracked

INTERNATIONAL flights are set to be more closely monitored with an Australian air traffic control working with Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts.

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss announced on Sunday the disappearance of Malaysian flight MH370 had galvanised the three countries improving aircraft monitoring.

While airlines flying over Australia are tracked in real time the new guidelines will reduce minimum tracking intervals over the ocean to 15 minutes - more than halving the current over ocean tracking rate of 30-40 minutes.

The initiative adapts existing technology on more than 90% of long haul passenger aircraft operating and would allow air traffic control to respond more rapidly to aircraft experience difficulty or unexpected flight path deviations.

"This new approach enables immediate improvements to monitoring long haul flights and will give the public greater confidence in aviation, without requiring any additional technology investment by airlines," Mr Truss said.

"I especially welcome the involvement of both Indonesia and Malaysian Air Traffic Control providers to make this a truly regional initiative."

Airservices Australia chair Sir Angus Houston said major airlines were supporting the trial.

Satellite-based positioning systems will track long haul flights in the Airservices Australia monitored airspace.

- APN NEWSDESK


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