Aireon and FlightAware Announce Qatar Airways as GlobalBeacon Launch Partner


Monday, 26 September 2016 08:00
Last updated 26 weeks ago.
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GlobalBeacon will provide Qatar Airways with real-time worldwide aircraft tracking that complies with ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System recommendations


Montreal, Canada (September 26, 2016) – Aireon LLC and FlightAware announced today that Qatar Airways will be the first airline to adopt the new GlobalBeacon℠ solution to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) recommendations.

The agreement will provide Qatar Airways’ Integrated Operations Centre with minute-by-minute, global tracking of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft by 2018.

GlobalBeacon combines FlightAware’s worldwide flight tracking information – – including origin, destination, flight plan route, position, estimated time of arrival – with data from Aireon’s space-based ADS-B aircraft surveillance system, due to be operational by 2018. The solution will provide Qatar Airways with state-of-the-art technology to meet and exceed GADSS requirements and recommendations.

“Qatar Airways is a leader in the aviation industry and their proactive approach to implementing the GADSS recommendations reinforces that point,” said Aireon CEO, Don Thoma. “With a modern fleet of 190 aircraft flying all over the world, across remote and oceanic airspace, Qatar Airways and GlobalBeacon are an ideal match and no new avionics will be required. We’re excited to welcome them as a partner.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, both our needs, and our drive to deliver the very best services for our global passengers, are continually evolving. GlobalBeacon will seamlessly integrate with our existing ICAO 2018 compliant flight watch technology (Total Operations System), and further enhance our fleet management by providing updates every minute.

“I am proud of Qatar Airways’ leadership position in this vital area of aviation safety and awareness. We will be the first airline in the world to have the capability to use worldwide satellite air surveillance to support our airline operations and to achieve the highest of flight tracking standards ahead of the ICAO 2021 mandate.”




Announced by ICAO in March of 2016, GADSS was created to help improve the ability to detect commercial aircraft in remote locations. The key components of GADSS recommend that aircraft report their position to the airline’s operations center at a minimum of once every 15 minutes under normal flight circumstances. However, if an aircraft should become in distress, position reports are then to be provided every minute. GlobalBeacon provides a permanent minute-by-minute reporting capability, far exceeding the ICAO recommendation.

In addition to aircraft tracking and location reporting requirements, GADSS requires aircraft to provide immediate notification of abnormal events, regardless of air traffic unit boundaries and without a degradation of baseline search and rescue services. Further, distressed aircraft status tracking can be activated by the pilot, automatically by the aircraft and remotely by the operations control center.

“With GlobalBeacon, Qatar Airways is getting the most state-of-the-art solution to meet GADSS recommendations in the industry,” said FlightAware CEO, Daniel Baker. “The adoption of this solution shows their commitment to their customers, employees and international community to help improve airlines and aviation stakeholder’s ability to locate aircraft in distress and improve search and rescue capabilities.”

Qatar Airways will also integrate FlightAware’s Firehose application programming interface (API) with their existing visualization tool in their flight operations center. Firehose provides secure TCP-based streaming flight positions and flight status data via a combination of worldwide air traffic control data, ADS-B, Mode S multilateration (MLAT), and aircraft datalink information.

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service will be operational by 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. The constellation consists of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites providing global coverage. The service will also provide Air Navigation Service Providers with global aircraft surveillance capability, and is expected to help reduce fuel costs, increase safety and enable more efficient flight paths.

About Aireon LLC
Aireon is deploying a space-based air traffic surveillance system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft throughout the entire globe. Aireon will harness next-generation aviation surveillance technologies that are currently ground-based and, for the first time ever, extend their reach globally to significantly improve efficiency, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide cost savings benefits to all stakeholders. Real-time ADS-B surveillance will cover oceanic, polar and remote regions, as well as augment existing ground-based systems that are limited to terrestrial airspace. In partnership with leading Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) from around the world, like NAV CANADA, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), ENAV and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon will have an operational, global, space-based air traffic surveillance system by 2018.

About FlightAware
FlightAware is the world's largest flight tracking data company and provides over 10,000 aircraft operators and service companies as well as over 12,000,000 passengers with global flight tracking solutions. FlightAware leverages data from air traffic control systems in over 55 countries, from FlightAware's network of over 8,000 ADS-B ground stations in over 140 countries, and using global datalink.

About Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 19th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 190 aircraft flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was awarded World's Best Business Class; Best Business Class Airline Lounge and Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East at the prestigious 2016 World Airline Awards managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax.

Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld global alliance. The award-winning alliance was named the World’s Best Airline Alliance 2015 by Skytrax for the third year running. Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance, oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ inflight entertainment system offers passengers up to 3,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, A350, A380, A319 as well as select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways is one of the world’s leaders in sponsoring global sporting events, including the strategic team sponsorships of FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli Saudi Arabia FC. Qatar Airways’ strategy reflects the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message - Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest cargo carrier, serves more than 50 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations globally on 190 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet now includes eight Airbus 330Fs, 10 Boeing 777 freighters and two Boeing 747 freighters.