Track aircraft on real time basis, says DGCA

Track aircraft on real time basis, says DGCA

 With the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines plane fresh in mind, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for airlines and private operators to track the aircraft on real time by devising a procedure that can monitor the flight even when there is no coverage of existing tracking devices.

Issuing the fresh Air Safety Circular, the DGCA said the operators have now been asked to use onboard Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) or Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) for real time tracking.
“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,” a statement said. The Malaysian plane (MH-370), which had 239 people on board, had mysteriously disappeared and authorities have faced difficulties in search and rescue operations. The regulator's insistence on real time tracking would help in locating an aircraft if it goes missing or meets with an accident.

“Operators should use all suitable means to track all its aircraft engaged in the carriage of passengers/cargo from departure to arrival so as to ensure real time tracking. Aircraft wherein the ACARS system is not available/disabled, operator must ensure real time flight tracking using ADS-B). Strict instructions should be given to the flight crew not to switch it off during the flight,” the guidelines said.

While flying over areas where there is no coverage of ACARS/ADS-B, the flight crew should report the aircraft coordinates, speed and altitude at an interval of not exceeding 15 minutes, it said.

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