As forecast by Julian Bray the UK Aviation Security Expert. in his Media Newslines blog, the still missing Flight MH370 coupled with the extended search for Flight 447, has caused regulators, to ask the to order that any new aircraft and existing aircraft to be retrofitted if they are engaged on oceanic routes so they operate advanced safety systems and devices enabling first responders to rapidly locate any downed aircraft and importantly fix on its data recorders, giving investigators an easier role in the search and recovery.
Four new requests together with four revisions of previously issued requests will be debated in February as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convenes a high-level safety conference to address these issues. A new protocol needs to be established in real time tracking and triggering position data exchanges or squawks from aircraft, effectively a moving targeting position which in an emergency will accurately pinpoint a crash or incident site.
It is considered the NTSB recommendations are more narrowly cast than ICAO proposals, relating to aircraft engaged in extended overwater operations. Ideally positioning and flight data in real time to be transmitted via satellites before an accident occurs.
The (EASA) also has a series of new initiatives to be announced coinciding with the first annual anniversary of MH370 disappearing in March, the proposed draft standards are yet to be released.
The four new NTSB recommendations, are performance-based, they require air carrier and charter operators to equip all existing and new aircraft already requiring flight data recorders (FDR) and cockpit voice recorders (CVR) with “tamper-resistant” systems to transmit via satellite triangulation to a ground station data establishing the crash location of an aircraft to within 6 nm of the point of impact, solutions to include deployable recorders or triggered data streaming.
The NTSB is also asking the FAA to require all existing and new aircraft to carry in the strongest part of the fuselage a low-frequency underwater locating device with a 90-day battery life, similar to the “pingers” used to locate FDRs and CVRs, but crucially operating on a lower frequency for longer-range detection, a position ICAO is also taking in establishing these new standards.
Another recommendation calls for all new aircraft to accurately log some eighty-eight performance parameters generated after a “triggering event” is actioned and potentially sent to the ground over satellite connections before the catastrophic incident; or picked up in deployable recorders after the catastrophic incident. “Data should be captured from a triggering event until the end of the flight and for as long a time period before the triggering event as possible,” the NTSB says.
The NTSB also repeated issued recommendations designed to prevent data recorders from being disabled during a flight and for adding real time cockpit video recorders, a request that applies to both the existing fleet and all new aircraft.
JULIAN BRAY 01733 345581, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN 01733 345020 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe > Updates are on the Website