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Airbus in talks with regulator on ejectable 'black boxes'

Monday, January 12, 2015 - 19:15
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Airbus has begun talks with a European regulator on proposals to make ejectable flight recorders available on its two largest models, the A380 and the new A350, potentially making them the first commercial planes to use the technology.

[MONTREAL] Airbus has begun talks with a European regulator on proposals to make ejectable flight recorders available on its two largest models, the A380 and the new A350, potentially making them the first commercial planes to use the technology.

The European company said it was also not ruling out expanding the use of ejectable recorders, which combine both voice and data recordings, to new versions of its popular A330 and A320 planes.

The talks with the European Aviation Safety Agency come as global aviation authorities consider recommending the devices to make it easier to recover evidence in cases such as the Dec 28 crash of an AirAsia jet, whose data recorder was recovered more than two weeks later but whose voice recorder is still missing.

Used in military planes for decades, ejectable or "deployable" recorders separate from the tail during a crash and float, while emitting a satellite distress signal.

"Airbus is working with EASA ... and other stakeholders to advance the approval of such a solution industry-wide," said a spokesman for the European planemaker, adding there was no indication when the devices would be in use on Airbus planes.

"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," he added.

EASA declined to comment.

REUTERS