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Satellite Company Offers Free Passenger Jet Tracking

/ Source: CNBC.com
As the search continues for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a U.K. satellite company says it will offer free tracking for passenger aircraft.Lai Seng Sin / AP

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U.K. satellite company Inmarsat is offering a free tracking service to all passenger airlines -- an issue that drew international attention after Malaysian Airlines' MH370 disappeared on March 8.

The company, whose share price jumped on the news, provided information critical in moving the international search towards the Indian Ocean.

The jet had disappeared from civilian radar screens less than an hour after take-off and after its transponder was turned off, complicating the effort to determine the flight's path.

Inmarsat is offering to track passenger planes already equipped with an Inmarsat satellite connection -- virtually all of the world's long-haul commercial fleet.

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 As the search continues for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a U.K. satellite company says it will offer free tracking for passenger aircraft. Lai Seng Sin / AP

The company is also offering a service whereby if a plane veers off-course unexpectedly, information from the aircraft's "black box recorder" would be streamed to a designated organisation.

Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: "In the wake of the loss of the MH370, we believe this is simply the right thing to do."

"Because of the universal nature of existing Inmarsat aviation services, our proposals can be implemented right away on all ocean-going commercial aircraft using equipment that is already installed".

The announcement was made before a conference hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada on May 12.

The conference will focus on improving global flight tracking.

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