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CAAS unveils tougher flight tracking rules for planes

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 11:38

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Friday put out new and stricter flight-tracking rules that should be applicable to most Singapore-registered aircraft.

THE Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Friday put out new and stricter flight-tracking rules that should be applicable to most Singapore-registered aircraft.

The rules, to be enforced from July this year, will require planes to establish tracking capabilities that would enable the airlines to know the location of their aircraft at least every 15 minutes throughout the flight's duration.

The new rules will apply to all Singapore air operators operating passenger aircraft of more than 27,000kg and carrying more than 19 passengers. It will also apply to cargo aircraft holding more than 45,500kg.

From July 1, 2016, airlines will be required to track their aircraft either manually or automatically. However, from Nov 8, 2018, only automatic tracking will be permitted.

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The move is consistent with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) plans to require a 15-minute standard for normal flight tracking by November 2018. CAAS said it will also impose this requirement on Singapore-registered airlines flying over any area, which is more comprehensive than the ICAO requirement, which is only for aircraft flying over oceanic areas.

When fully implemented, airlines here will have added assurance of the whereabouts and safety of their aircraft operations throughout their network, said CAAS director-general Kevin Shum in a media statement.

In the same statement, Singapore Airlines (SIA) said the national carrier is already in compliance with CAAS's new rule. SIA has "enhanced flight tracking capabilities" that give it detailed oversight of its global flight operations.

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