Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:SNA)(OTCBB:SNAVF) ("Star" or the "Company"), extends its condolences to the family and friends of those lost Saturday on Air Asia flight QZ 8501.
Air Asia, operator of the aircraft, has an exemplary safety record. The aircraft itself, an Airbus A320-200, is one of the most technologically sophisticated aircraft in use today. It lost contact with Indonesian control at 23:24 GMT Saturday, after requesting clearance to deviate from its course to avoid extreme weather conditions. There was no further contact. As of early today, there was still no sign of the aircraft or of wreckage.
Commercial aviation, in terms of the number of kilometers travelled, is statistically the safest mode of transportation on Earth. And, it is getting better. Unfortunately, this is cold comfort to those left behind when there is an incident such as MH-370 earlier this year, and now, Air Asia QZ 8501.
Star feels compelled to comment again on yet another loss. AF447 and MH370 both involved situations in which aircraft encountered conditions that caused them to lose contact with air traffic control, and disappear. The Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder from AF447 were not located for 2 years….the final resting place of MH370 remains a mystery to this day. Star's concern is that the technology exists today which, in both cases, would have provided significantly more information about the location and status of the aircraft, and the causes leading to the loss. Technology cannot prevent all incidents, but it can accelerate search and rescue operations and provide valuable indicators which can lead to accident prevention measures.
For instance, had Air Asia flight QZ 8501 been equipped with Star's STAR-A.D.S.™ System, it could have provided ground personnel with the original flight path, overlaid with the deviated flight path, as well as a display of the prevailing weather conditions. In addition to the satellite based real time flight tracking capability, any material aircraft systems malfunctions would have been transmitted to the ground and, in case of a catastrophic event, the System would have streamed the black box data to the ground in real time for as long as possible. The System is proven and available now on several types of aircraft such as the A320 and B737.
Star is committed to the advancement of safety in the air. It is already a part of the ITU/ICAO Focus Group for Real Time Black Box flight data streaming and cloud computing of flight data. The Focus Group's next meeting is in Montreal in February, 2015. Star is leading the group in two of the major areas of concern.
Star also participated in the IATA/ICAO Aircraft Tracking Task Force meetings in Montreal in 2014. The role of the ATTF is to identify the best near term options and develop performance-based recommendations for global flight tracking. The report from ATTF says that airlines should use existing technologies for tracking their aircraft until further rules can be developed.
Star encourages all stake holders, airlines, manufacturers and regulators, to accelerate their work on this critical matter and to bring forward their recommendations for change as soon as possible.
Source: Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd.
Date: Dec 29, 2014