KUALA LUMPUR: Real-time monitoring of flight data, including the black box, could speed up the search for a missing aircraft but several issues must be addressed first before introducing it, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
“If real-time tracking is to be implemented, we should consider the parameters for the transmission and what should be recorded and stored.
“It is then important that issues of cost and bandwidth as well as confidentiality and privacy are addressed,” he said at a closed-door dialogue here yesterday involving about 50 aviation and law experts worldwide.
His speech was made available to the press. He understood that “these concerns cannot match the peace of mind offered to passengers and their families by real-time tracking”.
“All governments are responsible for keeping their citizens – on land, at sea and in the air – safe. Quibbling over geographical coverage, data transmission levels, security and so on would not help the passengers. What they want is to be safe,” said Ahmad Shabery.
In the wake of the MH370 incident, the International Civil Aviation Organisation is pushing for real-time tracking of commercial planes.
India said in a statement on May 7 that it had instructed the Civil Aviation of India to track both passenger and cargo planes in real time.
Ahmad Shabery also said the evolvement of technology had made it possible for passengers to use handphones and broadband in a flight, implying that there was a need to update the current aviation technology.
He said the black box was the technology of the 1960s using a tape recorder.
“We are now in the era where data can be transmitted automatically using the satellite. Why not incorporate this into the aviation industry?” he said.
The two-day dialogue ends today.