FAA looks to extend cockpit voice-recording to 25 hours for all future aircraft

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is inviting members of the public to have their say on increasing cockpit voice-recording to 25 hours for all newly manufactured aircraft. 

Currently in the United States (US), cockpit recording devices are only required to retain two hours of data, which already lags way behind Europe at 25 hours. If brought in, the new rule would align with regulations set by not only the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) but also the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

The voice recorder captures all transmissions and sounds in the cockpit, including the pilots’ voices and engine noises. 

The FAA confirmed on November 30, 2023, that the public will have 60 days to comment on the proposal. 

“This rule will give us substantially more data to identify the causes of incidents and help prevent them in the future,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker, said. 

The FAA pledged to take action on the issue following the Safety Summit in March 2023, during which more than 200 safety leaders met to discuss ways to enhance flight safety. 

In the US, aviation safety is currently of huge concern after a spike in the number of near misses or close calls at many of the nation’s airports in the last 18 months.  

The FAA believes that an extended cockpit recording period would “better identify safety trends and prevent accidents.” 

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