Inmarsat supports ITU Plenipotentiary action on global flight tracking

1 November 2014: Yesterday, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) adopted a Resolution at the Plenipotentiary 2014, to urge expedited consideration of the matter of global flight tracking.  Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications safety services, welcomes and supports this timely action.

The ITU Plenipotentiary 2014 Resolution “[calls] for the consideration of global flight tracking, including, if appropriate, and consistent with ITU practices, various aspects of the matter, taking into account ITU-R studies.” Inmarsat, which has been in the forefront of maritime and aviation safety, and providing mission critical services, wholeheartedly supports ways and means to encourage strengthening and providing for more extensive use of communications technologies for better safety requirements, especially for civil aviation.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is in the process of developing global flight tracking recommendations that are expected to incorporate inputs from the International Aviation Transportation Association’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force.  Inmarsat also welcomes the efforts of ICAO to develop the Global Aviation Distress and Safety System (GADSS), incorporating the views of all interested parties.

In February 2015, ICAO will host the Second High Level Security Conference where it is expected that Directors General of Civil Aviation will review the current situation and future approaches to manage aviation safety, and will facilitate increased regional cooperation.  It is also anticipated that the Conference will discuss emerging safety issues, including the global tracking of aircraft and risks to civil aviation arising from conflict zones.

Inmarsat currently offers aviation safety services, including flight tracking to over 11,000 commercial passenger aircraft that are already equipped with an Inmarsat satellite connection – approximately 90 per cent of the world’s long haul commercial fleet. In May 2014, Inmarsat announced that it would offer a free global airline tracking service over the Inmarsat network, as part of the anticipated adoption of further aviation safety service measures by the world’s airlines following the loss of flight MH370. In addition, Inmarsat will also offer both an enhanced position reporting facility to support reduced in-flight aircraft separation, and a ‘black box in the cloud’ service. Inmarsat has allocated extensive resources to conduct in depth research and studies into developing the requirements for future tracking systems in coordination with the aviation community.

Inmarsat strongly supports ongoing efforts to improve air safety and is currently involved in existing study groups and will also aid and assist in any study groups established for this important matter.  Inmarsat hopes that this work will be expedited in accordance with normal ITU practices to ensure that all systems are interoperable and coordinated, pursuant to normal requirements for aviation safety services.  Inmarsat will lend active support to expedite this work and would welcome a definition and delineation of aviation safety service requirements for which spectrum can be allocated.

Inmarsat is participating in all these forums and looks forward to working with all parties to ensure that existing and future global flight tracking systems offer the very latest capabilities with the highest levels of reliability demanded by the traveling public.

For further information

Chris McLaughlin
Senior VP, External Affairs
+44 (0)20 7728 1015
Jonathan Sinnatt
Director of Corporate Communications
+44 (0)20 7728 1935

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services.  Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air.  Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centers of commerce on every continent.  Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).  For more information, please visit