MH370: DGCA asks airlines to track planes on real-time basis

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New Delhi, May 7: Taking lessons from missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777. which had 239 people on board, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has geared up for tracking aircrafts on real-time basis.

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.

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), said the new Air Safety Circular.

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.

Commercial aircraft normally spend considerable amount of time operating over remote areas and even high seas, where there are no radar coverage or international requirements for such tracking.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has created a Task Force to make recommendations by this year on how to continuously track commercial aircraft operations.

PTI

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