India prompts airlines on real-time tracking

Directorate-General-Civil-Aviation-India1India’s aviation authority has requested its airlines to use on-board aircraft communications addressing and reporting (ACARS) or automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) technology to allow real-time tracking of aircraft.

“This is significant in view of the preliminary report released by ministry of transport, Malaysia, into the accident of MH370 on March 8, 2014, which has revealed that the location of wreckage is still unknown due to the fact that there is no real time tracking of the aircraft,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a new safety circular issued May 6.

“Operators have also been advised to devise a procedure for effective tracking of the aircraft while flying over areas where there is no coverage of ACARS or ADS-B.”

It ordered flight crews to report aircraft coordinates, speed and altitude every 15 minutes while flying over such areas.

The regulator said airlines should monitor faults and warning messages of ACARS and that flight crews must immediately report any issue with ACARS or ADS-B to ground stations using a voice or datalink.

The DGCA said that during the last five years, there have been two occasions when large commercial transport aircraft went missing and their last position was not accurately known.

“While commercial air transport aircraft spend considerable amount of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no international requirement for real-time tracking of the aircraft,” the statement said, adding that this resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner in both the cases.

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