It’s been two years since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The aircraft vanished on 8th March 2014 mid-journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers on board. While the search is still on-going, only one identified piece of the wreckage has been found over the course of the last two years. The single piece of plane fuselage was found on Réunion Island but no further discoveries have been identified as belonging to the aircraft.
Prompted by the anniversary of the tragedy, the United Nations Aviation Agency has announced this week that Civilian aircraft will soon be required to carry real-time tracking equipment that can report the location of the aircraft if it is ever in distress. The “autonomous distress tracking devices” will report the aircrafts exact location once every minute.
These changes are said to go into effect between now and 2021 to help reduce the costs for search and rescue operations and help prevent future disappearances of this kind happening again.
Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the ICAO council said that the changes will “greatly contribute to aviation’s ability to ensure that similar disappearances never occur again.”
He added: “Taken together, these new provisions will ensure that in the case of an accident the location of the site will be known immediately to within six nautical miles, and that investigators will be able to access the aircraft’s flight recorder data promptly and reliably. They will also contribute to greatly improved and more cost-effective search and rescue operations.”
In addition to these announced changes, it has also been confirmed that cockpit voice recording facilities are to be extended to a 25-hour capability in order to cover all phases of any flight on any type of operation.