The National Search and Rescue Center, the General Civil Aviation Authority and Bayanat, a leading provider of AI powered geospatial solutions, announced the launch of the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) project, a pioneering smart technology initiative to support the vision of the United Arab Emirates to be a leading player in the field of aviation safety and artificial intelligence.

In the past, the ELT device was removed from the aircraft and transferred to a maintenance workshop to carry out the testing process in a closed environment. Utilising special testing devices, the electrical circuit in the ELT is tested and reports are sent to the concerned authorities manually. The total testing process takes anywhere from 1 to 3 days, and the aircraft cannot fly until the test is completed.

The new process, which is the first of its kind in the field of global aviation safety, is carried out at the press of a single button, and the total time period is shortened to less than 5 minutes. The ELT device is never removed from its operational state, and thus it is not required to halt flight operations. The testing process starts from the ELT device, to the transmitter antenna in the aircraft, on to the satellites, and ends with the ground receivers at the National Search and Rescue Center, where the distress call system is fully tested.

His Excellency Dr. Stephen Tomajan, Director General of the National Center for Search and Rescue commented, “This smart technical initiative reflects the cooperation and coordination of the authorities in the United Arab Emirates to provide the best services in the aviation safety sector.” He also stressed that this service will constitute a quantum leap in this field, as it will save a lot of time compared to the previous process.

Hassan Al Hosani, CEO of Bayanat said, “This initiative, in cooperation with the National Center for Search and Rescue, represents the benefit of modern techniques and technology, which contributes to the development of the aviation safety sector and the improvement of productivity.”

The process of receiving test signals is governed through the electronic cloud to provide the highest standards of cybersecurity and facilitate the passing of information to the relevant authorities. The system also provides additional services to airlines through which the devices in the aircraft fleet are inventoried and monitored, and the due dates for tests and basic data for device registration are determined, which helps in improving the performance of asset management for airlines. It also reduces human error resulting from the use of paper work in the previous procedure, through which automatic electronic reports are sent to the concerned authorities. The new process will provide a valuable contribution to raising the percentage of registered devices for distress calls in the country in accordance with international standards.