Opinion 01/2014

Amendment of requirements for flight recorders and underwater locating devices

This Opinion addresses safety issues related to the reliability and preservation of flight recorders and to locating the aircraft after an accident over water.

This Opinion proposes to address these safety issues by:

  • mandating that obsolete recording technologies are not used anymore on aircraft operated for commercial air transport after 1 January 2019;
  • mandating a CVR recording duration of 20 hours for large aeroplanes (MCTOM of over 27 000 kg) first issued with an individual CofA on or after 1 January 2020, and 2 hours for other aeroplanes required to carry a CVR;
  • mandating a 90-day transmitting time for the ULDs fitted on flight recorders after 1 January 2018 for aeroplanes operated in CAT, and after 1 January 2020 in other cases; and
  • mandating that large aeroplanes (MCTOM of over 27 000 kg) operated for CAT on long range overwater flights are fitted with a long range detection ULD after 1 January 2019.

The proposed changes are expected to increase safety by facilitating the recovery of information by the safety investigation authorities. They will address 13 safety recommendations from safety investigation authorities, improve ICAO compliance, and bring benefits for flight recorder serviceability and preservation, and for the retrieval of an aircraft after an accident over water.

This Opinion proposes amendments to Annexes IV (Part-CAT), VI (Part-NCC), and VIII (Part-SPO) to Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 as last amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 379/2014.