The FAA is proposing to increase the recording time for cockpit voice recording to 25 hours

(CNN) The Federal Aviation Administration is working to establish a requirement for airplanes to have longer-duration cockpit voice recorders.

The announcement comes after the agency held an emergency “safety summit” on Wednesday following a series of near misses on US runways.

The FAA said it is “initiating the creation of regulations requiring cockpit voice recorders to capture 25 hours of information.” Currently, the cockpit voice recorder, which is one of two so-called “black boxes” on an airplane, only captures the last two hours of cockpit audio.

The rulemaking process can take several years, and the agency added that it would welcome congressional intervention on the matter. The FAA has previously said it is not pursuing regulations in this area because it had other priorities.

The National Transportation Safety Board has stated that cockpit audio recordings are not available for all runway incidents it investigates because more than two hours elapsed before the recordings could be retrieved.

The NTSB recommended the 25-hour standard after an incident in 2017 in which an airliner attempted to land on a runway occupied by several other planes at San Francisco International Airport. His 2018 report said the lack of cockpit records hampered his investigation.

The panel has also identified more than a dozen other incidents since 2003 where investigators were unable to hear key audio signals due to the recorders’ limited memory.

A litany of incidents – including severe turbulence that injured passengers and an incident in 2022 in which a United Airlines Boeing 777 crashed bound for the Pacific – prompted the summit this week. And since the beginning of the year there have been a worrying number of high-profile “near misses” when planes involved in landing or take-off operations at airports came perilously close to a potential disaster.

After the summit, the FAA said it would also “establish an Aviation Rules Drafting Committee to study how better use could be made of data collected from the aircraft and its systems.”


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