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India sets new guidelines for real time tracking of aircraft

India Blooms News Service | | 07 May 2014, 07:10 pm
New Delhi, May 7 (IBNS): In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, Indian civil aviation regulator on Wednesday issued new guidelines to all operators for real time tracking of aircraft.
 "In view of the difficulties faced in search and rescue operations after an aircraft goes missing or meets with an accident, the DGCA has issued guidelines to all operators, in the form of Air Safety Circular, for real time tracking of aircraft engaged in carrying  passengers and cargo from departure to arrival, " the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Wednesday.
 
 "This is significant in view of the preliminary report released by Ministry of Transport, Malaysia into the accident of B777-200 aircraft 9M-MRO operating flight MH-370 on  Mar 8, 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." it said.
 
It is now known that after Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) had stopped transmitting, the satellite communication system automatically transmitted seven messages that confirmed that the system was still logged onto the network.
 
The air transport operators have now been asked vide Air Safety Circular 04 of 2014 dated  May 5, to use onboard Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) /Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) for this purpose and they have to ensure their serviceability before every departure.  
 
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/ADS-B.
     
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.  
 
This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner in both the cases. 
 
Such incidences as well as the recent Malaysian tragedy have prompted the DGCA to take necessary action.