Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 7 May 2014 issued guidelines to operastors for Real Time Tracking of Aircrafts.
The new rule is applicable for both the passenger and cargo aircraft. DGCA has made it mandatory for all its planes to be tracked from departure to arrival.
Guidelines were released to set standards in view of the difficulties faced in search and rescue operations after an aircraft goes missing or meets with an accident.
The air transport operators were ordered to use onboard Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) /Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B).
Every operator has to ensure their serviceability before every departure. Operators have also been advised to devise a procedure for effective tracking of the aircraft while flying over areas where there is no coverage of ACARS/ADS-B.
During the last five years, there have been two occasions when large commercial transport aircrafts went missing and their last position was not accurately known. While commercial air transport aircrafts spend considerable amount of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no international requirement for real time tracking of the aircraft.
This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner in both the cases. Such incidences as well as the recent Malaysian tragedy have prompted the DGCA to take necessary action.