FAA Proposes Rule To Extend Cockpit Voice-recording To 25 Hours

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a new rule to increase the cockpit voice-recording requirement substantially for all newly manufactured aircraft in the United States.

While current FAA regulations require cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) to retain only two hours of data, the proposed rule will require extending cockpit voice-recording to 25 hours.

When implemented, the new rule would align with regulations set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

The proposed change would provide accident investigators, aircraft operators, and civil aviation authorities with substantially more cockpit voice recorder data to help find the probable causes of incidents and accidents, prevent future incidents and accidents, and make the FAA’s regulations more consistent with existing international requirements.

The proposed rule was publish in the Federal Register on Monday, and 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,” said FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.

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

A plane’s black box contains both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder (FDR). These two devices are crucial for investigating aviation accidents and are designed to withstand extreme conditions to help retrieve important data after an incident.

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.

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