While it seems unlikely that a plane could easily vanish shortly after taking off from the ground, the flight of Malaysia Airlines MH370 shows that this is possible.
And this is something that the UN does not want to happen again. The BBC reveals that an agreement was hammered out at a UN conference in Geneva on Wednesday to have satellites track planes and prevent their whereabouts from ever becoming a mystery.
Currently, planes can only be followed and supervised by ground-based radars, the report said. However, this system is very limited. The current system leaves around 70 percent of the world's airspace uncovered. The tragedy of flight MH370 exposed this weakness in worldwide air navigation systems.
The UN agreement will allow the design of a new system that will have a complete overhaul to let satellites receive automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) transmissions. In doing this, "real-time tracking of aircraft anywhere in the world," will now be possible, said Francois Rancy, head of the ITU's Radio communication Bureau.
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said in a statement that they have "responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking. ITU will continue to make every effort to improve flight tracking for civil aviation."
Not all people agree with this as some have criticized regulators and airlines for being too slow in responding to French tracking recommendations after the crash of an Air France jet in 2009.
Now that MH370 has left people in the dark, the European Union finally said in September that mandatory flight tracking would be prioritized in aviation security and safety.
The Verge adds that the UN's aviation arm, the International Civil Aviation Organization, has imposed a deadline for airlines to comply with the tracking technology requirement. By November 2016, aircraft should send their position every 15 minutes or more in the case of emergency.
The Malaysia Airlines flight was flying to Beijing when air traffic control staff lost contact after it launched from Kuala Lumpur. At the moment, search efforts are scouring the deeps of the southern Indian Ocean where the plane is believed to have fell. In July, a flaperon was found on Reunion Island, with experts confirming that this debris is part of the missing MH370 plane.
Experts believe that the whereabouts of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft will be found within 3-4 months.