India makes its aircraft disappearance proof post MH370 incident; here’s how

By: | Updated: December 19, 2018 2:21 PM

It has made it mandatory for aircraft flown by Indian operators having a seating capacity of 19 passengers or takeoff weight of 45 tonnes or more to install a devise that will send location of the aircraft at 15 minute intervals.

The system will pass location information to ground stations even if the aircraft is flying over the oceans during long international flights throughout the duration of the flight.

India has taken several steps to remove any possibility of the aircraft operated by its airlines disappearing without a trace in the aftermath of the shocking incident in March 2014 involving Malysia Airlines’ MH370. It has made it mandatory for aircraft flown by Indian operators having a seating capacity of 19 passengers or takeoff weight of 45 tonnes or more to install a devise that will send location of the aircraft at 15 minute intervals.

The government had ordered airline companies to compulsorily install an automated aircraft tracking system (ATS) in all aircraft falling in the above categories. The system will pass location information to ground stations even if the aircraft is flying over the oceans during long international flights throughout the duration of the flight.

“All passenger aircraft operated by scheduled airlines are compliant with aircraft tacking capability,” the government informed the Lok Sabha in response to a question.

The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 flight in March 2014 remains the biggest mystery in the history of civil aviation. A massive international search covering 1.2 lakh sq kilometers ocean area was called off 3 years after the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members.

This mysterious disappearance had shocked air travellers across the world raising serious questions about the personal safety of passengers. Following the incident, the government and security agencies have taken several steps to ensure any repeat of this kind of incidents. These steps included strengthening of automated reporting system for the flights over oceanic areas.

DGCA rules require airlines for automated reporting of position of the aircraft at the interval of every fifteen minutes if the aircraft flies over oceans. As per the rules, the aircraft has to be tracked for every part of the flights passing over the oceanic area.

Safety standards implemented by DGCA has helped India retain its top category in terms of civil aviation in a safety audit conducted by US civil aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

An official in DGCA had confirmed this week that FAA had retained India in the category 1 as per an audit conducted in July this year to assess India’s adherence to standards laid down by the UN agency – International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO).

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