December 22, 2014
Europe proposes tighter black box rules after Malaysia Airlines flight
European safety officials proposed tougher rules for 'black box' flight recorders in the strongest regulatory reaction yet to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it would propose increasing the recording time on cockpit voice recorders to 20 hours from two to make it easier to understand plane accidents and prevent vital evidence being overwritten.
Newly published proposals would also bring into force recommendations made by French crash investigators after the loss of an Air France jet in the Atlantic in 2009, but which remain bogged down in talks among regulators.
These include the addition of a new pinger frequency making it easier to locate the recording devices under water, where lower frequencies travel further.
The suggestions have been submitted to the European Union's executive Commission which will use them as the basis for a change in law.
"The proposed changes are expected to increase safety by facilitating the recovery of information by safety investigation authorities," EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said in a statement.
No trace of flight MH370 has been found since it vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, despite the most intensive search in commercial aviation history.