On the anniversary of Malaysia Airline’s flight MH370’s disappearance, the United Nations Aviation Agency has announced changes that will require aircraft to report their location in real-time.
The agency says it’s making three major amendments to the Chicago Convention that specifies rules for operation of aircraft.
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Between now and 2021, airline companies will be required to carry “autonomous distress tracking devices” which would send the location every minute when in distress.
Aircraft will also be required to provide a “means to have flight recorder data recovered” in a timely manner, and cockpit voice recordings will be extended to a minimum of 25 hours to capture the entirety of the flight as well as preparations.
Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO Council President, said that the new rules will “ensure that similar disappearances never occur again.”
The new rules are ‘performance based’ so airlines are allowed to choose the technology they use – the only hard requirement is reporting every minute when something goes wrong.
Ultimately the changes also help reduce costs for search and rescue operations and “ensure that in the case of an accident the location will be known immediately within six nautical miles.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article states it was the one year anniversary since MH370’s disappearance. We regret this error.