Why We Still Can't Track an Airplane
The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jumbo jet last March shocked many people unaware that such a thing could happen. That event, combined with Sunday's loss of a second commercial aircraft over the Java Sea (debris from the plane is now being recovered), is spurring calls for more precise, “persistent” tracking of commercial airline flights. For airlines, the real question is how to balance the costs of a locator system that's almost never needed against the hard fact that Airbus A320s and Boeing 777s cannot be allowed to vanish without a trace.
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