Malaysia Airlines first to use satellites to track all its planes

The airline signed an agreement that will give real-time location updates from all over the world

In good news for people afraid of flying, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) just announced it will be the first to use satellites to track its fleet.

Real-time updates, everywhere

Having signed an agreement with aerospace companies Aireon, FlightAware and Sitaonair, real-time updates can be received wherever a plane is in the world.

Of course it's not happening overnight: the network is due to be completed in 2018.

A satellite network would be able to function in areas where there is no surveillance, such as remote areas in the Artic.

Usually, planes are tracked via onboard transponders which could be tracked via radar.

Three years ago, MAS Flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people onboard, its transmitter signal undetectable - with speculation it was deliberately turned off.

Would a satellite system have made a difference? A Bloomberg report says perhaps not; as MH370's location transmitter was not operational and without it, the plane would still not be visible to satellites.

Still, making it easier to detect a plane's location instead of relying on just radar or radio transmissions is a step forward in the aviation industry. Perhaps one day, they'll figure out a way to make sure that no plane ever disappears again.

[Source: Mashable]