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What is Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS)

International Civil Aviation Organization held several special meetings after the sad disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. Prior to that Air France flight AF447 had a tragic accident in the Atlantic Ocean and extreme measures were taken to find the flight data recorders. Extraordinary
GADSS concept was initiated and proposed to the operators worldwide. Regulators worldwide adopted the ICAO’s GADSS initiative in late 2015 and early 2016. Locating the aircraft is not easy. It becomes even more difficult if the aircraft are not SATCOM systems equipped. Current and existing technologies have limitations too. There are gray areas over oceanic routes that aircraft cannot be tracked and traced without having a SATCOM system.


The main purpose to adopt GADSS is to provide global tracking of aircraft, specifically when those aircraft are in distress, post flight localization and recovery.

There are three main components to GADSS as per ICAO Annex 6 Part 1, Section 6.18 and Section 6.3.5

Global aircraft tracking

  • During normal operations 15 minute interval tracking is mandatory

Autonomous aircraft distress identification and tracking

  • During aircraft in distress the tracking interval must be reduced to 1 minute
  • During aircraft in distress the aircraft must be equipped with means approved by the State of operator, to recover the flight data recorder timely

Post flight localization and recovery

The current need is to have improvements in the existing systems to ensure the accident investigation authority can always retrieve adequate data to allow determination of probable causes.

The triggers to transmit the flight information must be based on the following elements.
Scenario 1: Unusual attitude
Scenario 2: Unusual speed
Scenario 3: Collision with terrain
Scenario 4: Total loss of thrust/propulsion on all engines

Please see maps below where Global tracking is required.

How can Star help bridge the gap?
Star Navigation has the technology that can identify the risks associated with aircraft in distress for Unusual attitude, Unusual speed, Collision with terrain and Total loss of thrust/propulsion on all engines.
Airlines and air operators now can equip their aircraft with transmitting flight data LRU which automatically and autonomously detects aircraft in distress conditions and at the same time switches the tracking function from 15 minute to 1 minute interval seamlessly and automatically. It is just science!
Talk to us for more information.
Amir Bhatti
CEO Star Navigation

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