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Inmarsat Will Offer Airlines Free Tracking Using Its Satellite Communications

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal

Apr 18, 2014 11:00 am

Skift Take

While not every airline will take Inmersat up on its offer, it’s a good kick in the pants to get the industry moving forward.

— Jason Clampet

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Andrew Winning  / Reuters

Staff at satellite communications company Inmarsat work in front of a screen showing subscribers using their service throughout the world, at their headquarters in London. Andrew Winning / Reuters


Satellite communications company Inmarsat ISAT.LN +0.07% PLC plans to offer basic tracking services free of charge to airlines, its chairman said, in the strongest sign yet of the aerospace industry’s intentions to enhance monitoring abilities for commercial jets after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines 3786.KU -4.35% Flight 370.

Airlines have long resisted making satellite tracking routine, in part because of the costs. But since Flight 370’s disappearance on March 8, airlines and international safety organizations have shown new interest in such efforts.

For Inmarsat’s offer to become a reality, any ultimate industry standards for satellite tracking would have to encompass its communications satellites.

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