Millennium Post

Track flights on real-time basis: DGCA to airlines

With the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 remaining missing for two months now, DGCA on Wednesday made it mandatory for airlines and private operators to use all means to track their aircraft’s flight on real-time basis and ensure that necessary devices are functional before take-off.

Responding to the global alarm at the mysterious disappearance of MH-370 plane which had 239 people on board, the aviation regulator came out with a fresh circular mandating that airplane operators should use ‘all suitable means’, including Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), to track their cargo or passenger aircraft from take-off to landing. Those planes, which are not fitted with ACARS, should carry out real-time tracking with the help of Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B), DGCA’s new Air Safety Circular said.

It also laid down guidelines for operators to devise a procedure for effective tracking of aircraft while flying over areas where there is no coverage of either ACARS or ADS-B. The rules make it mandatory for airlines and non- scheduled operators to ensure that ACARS or ADS-B are fully functional before every departure. It lays down that strict instructions be given to the crew not to switch off such equipment during a flight.

The wreckage of the Malaysian plane, which disappeared on 8 March, has not been located as yet as there was no real-time tracking of the aircraft in the last phase of the ill-fated flight.
DGCA sources said till the IATA recommendations come in, ‘we need to implement measures in the interim period with an objective of increasing the capability of all agencies involved with airline operations to effectively track aircraft.’ 
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