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This article was published on March 9, 2016


Two years since the disappearance of MH370, UN says planes must use real-time tracking

Two years since the disappearance of MH370, UN says planes must use real-time tracking
Owen Williams
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Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

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.

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.

States Make Further Progress through ICAO to Help Avoid Recurrence of MH370-Type Disappearances [ICAO via The Guardian]