The Global Aeronautic Distress and Safety System as a Service (GADSS) aims to enhance aviation safety by improving the recovery and accessibility of flight data in incidents or accidents. Traditional methods of recovering flight recorders (Black Boxes) can be time-consuming and uncertain, especially in remote areas. GADSS standards, led by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), outline requirements for Global Aircraft Tracking, Autonomous Distress Tracking, Timely Recovery of Flight Data, and distress alerting.

CGI leads a consortium developing the Universal Virtual Flight Data Recorder (UVFDR) as a service aligned with GADSS. Utilising advancements in satellite data connectivity, UVFDR stores flight data in a secure cloud environment, enabling immediate access during emergencies. The service integrates seamlessly with existing Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) and Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) systems, benefiting operators economically.

UVFDR is adaptable to various aircraft types and transmission equipment, facilitating widespread adoption. It enhances safety across aviation sectors, including commercial, business, and general aviation, particularly in remote or underserved areas. Additionally, it aligns with future air mobility trends, providing insights into unmanned traffic management and UAV operations.

CGI is working together with industry partners SatAuth, Code Magus Ltd, Cranfield University, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), along with other stakeholders, towards a global UVFDR service. The development and operational demonstration are supported by the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency through the ARTES – Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) programme.