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Australia to test new jet tracking system

Storyline:Business, World

Australia today said it was trialling a “world first” system with Malaysia and Indonesia that increases the tracking of aircraft over remote oceans, allowing authorities to quickly react to abnormal situations such as the disappearance of MH370.
It raises the minimum tracking rate for planes flying over remote oceans to 15 minutes from current intervals of 30 to 40 minutes.
The technology “can increase realtime monitoring should an abnormal situation arise,” said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.
“In a world first, all three countries will trial a new method of tracking aircraft through the skies over remote oceanic areas,” Mr Truss told reporters.
“Now this initiative adapts existing technology used by more than 90 per cent of long-haul passenger aircraft and would see air traffic control respond more rapidly should an aircraft experience difficulty or deviation from its flight plan.”
The announcement came ahead of almost a year after Malaysian Airlines’ flight MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board last March.
A massive air and underwater search failing to find any evidence of the plane.
While the system was “not a silver bullet”, it would help to improve current methods of tracking, said Airservices Australia Chairman Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.
If an aircraft deviates over 200 feet from its assigned level or two nautical miles from its expected track, the system would automatically monitor the jet more closely, such as every five minutes or almost continuously, he added.