The FAA now uses satellite data to track all Boeing 737 MAX jets

©Boeing 737 MAX

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that from January 29 this year, it has been monitoring the flights of all Boeing’s 737 MAX jets using data supplied by Aireon LLC, a traffic surveillance company. In November 2020, both Aireon and L3Harris Technologies announced a new partnership with the FAA which gave the FAA comprehensive access to Aireon’s real-time air traffic surveillance Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data.

According to a statement from the agency on Friday: “Aireon is providing the agency with ADS-B flight data for all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.” It added that: “Aireon’s system will flag deviations from certain parameters during all phases of flight and alert the FAA’s aviation safety division. Safety engineers and inspectors will use the early notification to further analyze the incident.” 

Aireon data was used by the FAA when it decided to ground all 737 MAXs in March 2019, shortly after the second fatal MAX crash in five months. The 20-month grounding of the 737 MAX was lifted by the FAA back in November 2020 after a series of software safety enhancements and training changes were implemented by Boeing.

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