January 12, 2015

Airbus in talks with EASA over deployment of ejectable flight data recorders

Two weeks after the downing of AirAsia flight QZ8501, the black box, or flight data recorder has finally been recovered and it is also believed the cockpit voice recorder has also now been located. It is perhaps a sensible time therefore for Airbus to begin talks with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in relation to fitting ejectable flight data recorders to Airbus A320 and A330 models in addition to the A350 and A380. The implementation of such a device would certainly have assisted with the earlier location of the AirAsia flight, which was an Airbus A320, and Airbus are certainly keen to lead innovation in this area of air safety.
This type of flight data recorder would also include cockpit voice recording and has been deployed in military planes for many years where ejectable recorders separate from the tail of a plane during a crash on water, subsequently floating while simultaneously emitting a satellite distress signal. While Airbus considers talking to EASA, other worldwide regulatory authorities have been discussing the implementation of such a device across all commercial aircraft. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may well have made such discussions more relevant and necessary as it is nine months on and still nobody is any the wiser as to where the flight came down. A spokesman for the firm stated that “Airbus is working with EASA… and other stakeholders to advance the approval of such a solution industry-wide,” but gave no indication of any specific schedule. “In the future, applicability for our other aircraft products could be likewise considered, but presently we have decided to focus on the A350 and A380,” the spokesman added.



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