GPS tracking jets

GPS tracking airplane

In the wake of the mysterious and tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370, some may be wondering just how much GPS tracking software plays a role in tracking jets like the Boeing 777 and other aircraft.   We ran across a great article by BBC Asia that explains how airplanes are tracked.   In short, airplanes do use GPS tracking, but the feature is almost exclusively used only for the purpose of informing the pilot of his or her position, rather than air traffic control.  Surprisingly, much of air traffic control remains radar-based, with planes using a primary radar, a secondary radar, and ACARS–a system that transmits computer data from the plane to computers on the ground for the purpose of  reporting on the health of the aircraft’s various systems.

Here’s the BBC Asia Article: