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Aircraft Tracking


DEC14 EC Proposal on Aircraft Tracking Systems

Latest update 14 June 2017: please see below for more details.


ICAO, in consultation with world- wide state authorities and an IATA joint task Force are in the process of developing global requirements for additional aircraft tracking and recording following recent high profile aircraft accidents and a high level conference was held on 30 June 2015 at the European Parliament. In Europe the European Commission and EASA are progressing ‘Work in Progress’ following Regulation 965/2012 regarding changes to requirements in Flight Data recording and Flight Tracking and looking to develop multi layered ‘Concept of Operations’ for Aircraft Tracking (normal operations) / Aircraft Tracking (abnormal operations), Autonomous Distress Tracking and Automatic Deployable Flight Recorders.


Latest update 20/01/2016: On 16 December 2015 The European Commission adopted new rules for flight recorders, underwater locating devices and aircraft tracking systems, addressing the issues raised by the accident of AF447 and the disappearance of MH370. The new rules concern aircraft tracking systems, underwater locating devices and flight recorders. The main elements include:

  • Operators of large aeroplanes must establish, as part of the system for exercising operational control over the flight, an aircraft tracking system.
  • Newly manufactured large aeroplanes are to be equipped "with robust and automatic means" to accurately locate the end point of flight following an accident in which the aeroplane is severely damaged. This is to prevent the disappearance of an aeroplane where all communications and its track are lost abruptly.
  • The technology of flight recorders will be enhanced, and the recording length of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) will be extended from 2 hours to 25 hours. The protection of CVR recordings will be reinforced, in particular during their maintenance. Finally flight recorders will be equipped with locating devices with an extended transmission time so as to facilitate their localisation.


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