CEO of FedEx, Frederick Smith, said Thursday that airlines will move quickly to better track aircraft over the ocean after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Smith told the International Aviation Club that maintenance and navigational equipment aboard most airliners could be adapted to keep track of planes, and it would also reduce gaps between planes, making flights more efficient and saving money on fuel. According to USA Today, the International Air Transport Association (representing 270 airlines worldwide) recently created a task force to better track planes, and recommendations are likely due before the end of the year.
Currently, two pieces of equipment that can signal a plane’s location are on most airliners, but the Malaysia flight’s system stopped signaling less than an hour after taking off, and the equipment can be turned off by the pilot or damaged in a fire.
According to Smith, both of these systems can be modified to be more difficult for pilots to disable, and airlines could better monitor both systems to keep better track of their planes over oceans, he says.