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Too expensive to track all airliners in flight

In a December 29th article in the New York Times, Christopher Drew said that airlines use satellites don’t stream data in real time about a plane’s condition and location. Two days later, editors said that information about airlines is only updated once every 15 minutes. While not always true, it is true that there is no constant congaing tracking of every airplane in the sky. They are in contact with company dispatchers on the ground and by air traffic control, and in busy airspace, tracked and monitored by VHF radio contact and radar. Over oceans, cockpit equipment allows for almost real-time monitoring. In some places in the world, though, location reports are sent only intermittently. To do otherwise would be much too expensive and unnecessary. In order to keep flights as cheap as possible, it’s unlikely those untracked flights will ever be upgraded to allow continuous location tracking.

The above article is a summary. Please see the source article at Google News.

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