Press Release: Blue Sky receives FAA cert for distress tracking device

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Press Release hub banner blue with title in red white and blueBlue Sky Network, an Iridium Satellite Communications partner, today announces the HawkEye ADT has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification with an approved model list supplemental type certificate (AML-STC) for Boeing 737 type series.

The HawkEye ADT is an autonomous distress tracking device and solution to satisfy ICAO requirements developed in response to high profile aircraft accidents.

The compact HawkEye ADT unit incorporates an embedded advanced Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) for determining real-time aircraft flight status. It also hosts dual Iridium modems and voice connectivity for reliable 100 percent global coverage.

“The HawkEye ADT enables airline operators to be fully compliant with the ICAO-GADSS requirements for autonomous distress tracking,” said Gregoire Demory, President and CEO of Blue Sky Network. “Aircraft delivered after January 1, 2021 need to be in compliance and the HawkEye ADT is the first solution currently available to meet this deadline.”

“Starting in 2015 and leveraging Blue Sky Network’s best of breed products and features, we developed a terrific product to meet the anticipated regulatory requirements. We integrated advanced sensors and processors to allow independent determination of possible distress scenarios without the exclusive reliance on onboard aircraft systems – we made it autonomous,” said Jon Gilbert, Founder and CEO of Aircraft Tracking Solutions, Blue Sky Network’s teaming partner.

“This stand-alone intelligent product will set a higher expectation level in commercial aviation for aircraft normal and distress tracking in alignment with GADSS compliance.”


In 2009, the Air France Flight 447 tragedy claimed all 228 lives on board and took two years and roughly $160 million to recover its flight data recorder. In 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 lives on board. The extensive search operation cost an estimated $150 million. The plane and passengers were never found.


Beginning in 2015 and concluding in 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted GADSS requirements for autonomous distress tracking (ADT). These measures include independently detecting aircraft distress; activating position reports at least once every minute; and integrating backup power in the event of aircraft power loss. ADT systems raise safety standards to help prevent the loss of aircraft in distress and significantly increase the accuracy and coordination of post-flight recovery efforts.

The ICAO-GADSS requirement is already enforced in some regions and is required for forward-fit aircraft everywhere delivered after January 1, 2021.

About Blue Sky Network

Blue Sky Network is an industry-leading provider of mission-critical fleet management, tracking, and operational analytics solutions serving private, commercial, and government customers worldwide. Blue Sky Network deploys innovative satellite-based communication solutions that help aviation, marine, and land/mobile customers track and manage assets in real-time worldwide, resulting in improved safety, security, operational efficiency, and profitability. Founded in 2001, Blue Sky Network is headquartered in San Diego, California, with customers and distributors in more than 50 countries.