Bill would require GPS data from aircraft

 

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) said he plans to introduce a bill that would require passenger aircraft to transmit GPS location data following the recent disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight.

"The technology that’s used to determine an aircraft’s location is outdated and presents a potential safety hazard to passengers," Stockman said. "My bill would update this technology, leave passengers feeling safer on board a plane, and not burden the airline industry and taxpayers."

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The international air traffic control network primarily relies on radar to keep track of aircraft. Pilots use GPS systems to track map positions but typically do not share the data with air traffic controllers.

Passenger aircraft use radar over GPS systems because transmitting high volumes of data from the latter is more expensive.

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been missing since March 8 despite an intensive search involving multiple nations. It was carrying 227 passengers from 14 nations and 12 Malaysian crew members.