In its ongoing efforts to bolster aviation safety, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has published new rules to improve the tracking of Singapore-registered aircraft.
The new rules will apply to all Singapore air operators operating passenger aircraft of more than 27,000 kg and carrying more than 19 passengers, as well as cargo aircraft of more than 45,500 kg. These aircraft will be required to establish tracking capabilities that would enable the airlines to know the location of their aircraft at least every 15 minutes, throughout the entire duration of the flight.
CAAS will work closely with Singapore air operators to manage the transition to these new rules. From 1 July 2016 onwards, airlines will be required to track their aircraft either manually or automatically. From 8 November 2018 onwards, only automatic tracking will be permitted.
This move is consistent with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) plans to require a 15-minute standard for normal flight tracking1 by November 2018. Also, we will impose this requirement on our airlines flying over any area, which is more comprehensive than the ICAO requirement which is only for aircraft flying over oceanic areas.
Director-General of CAAS, Mr Kevin Shum, said, “The safety of the travelling public is always our priority. CAAS has worked closely with the industry to advance the implementation of the latest rules on enhanced aircraft tracking. When fully implemented, our airlines will have added assurance of the whereabouts and safety of their aircraft operations throughout their network.”
Local airlines have expressed their support for the move. Singapore Airlines Acting Senior Vice President Flight Operations, Captain C.E. Quay, said, “We are supportive of the efforts to improve flight tracking capabilities. Singapore Airlines is already in compliance with CAAS' new rules, as we have enhanced flight tracking capabilities that give us detailed oversight of our global flight operations.”
Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tigerair Singapore, Mr Ho Yuen Sang, added, “We have been working closely with CAAS in order to achieve the highest level of surveillance and tracking for our aircraft. We are confident that these industry-leading regulations represent a significant step forward in aviation safety which is our top priority.”