The objective of this Opinion is to:
- improve the availability of data that is recorded by cockpit voice recorders (CVRs);
- address the need for in-flight recording for light aircraft further to 12 safety recommendations (SRs) addressed to EASA and the recently adopted ICAO Standards on the matter;
- ensure a level playing field for the commercial operation of certain categories of aeroplanes without an ETOPS approval over routes that contain a point further from an adequate aerodrome than the distance flown in 60 minutes at one-engine-inoperative cruising speed (‘non-ETOPS operations’); it also addresses the recently adopted ICAO Standards for the installation of reinforced cockpit doors;
- improve safety in relation to runway surface condition reporting and in-flight assessment of landing performance further to SRs and the recently adopted ICAO Standards; and
- ensure a level playing field in relation to the required landing distance for certain categories of commercially operated aeroplanes.
This Opinion proposes to:
- mandate the carriage of lightweight flight recorders for certain categories of light aircraft that are commercially operated and to promote the voluntary installation of such recorders on other aircraft;
- remove the current mass threshold for ‘non-ETOPS’ operations, the type design requirement for the 120–180-minute non-ETOPS operations with turbojet aeroplanes, and increase the mass limit requiring a reinforced cockpit door for certain categories of aeroplanes;
- require the installation of an alternate power supply of the CVRs and associated cockpit-mounted area microphone installed on certain large aeroplanes;
- introduce standards for runway surface condition reporting, landing performance at time of arrival as well as a reduced required landing distance for CAT operations with certain categories of aeroplanes.
The proposed amendments are expected to:
- increase safety and ensure alignment with ICAO with regard to in-flight recording;
- maintain the current level of safety for non-ETOPS operations, while allowing Europe to achieve harmonisation with other regulatory systems;
- increase the current level of safety in relation to aeroplane performance, and ensure alignment with ICAO and better harmonisation with the FAA on the matter.