The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to extend cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) recording time to 25 hours for all newly manufactured aircraft that require them, according to a press release issued today (Nov. 30).
Existing regulations require CVRs, commonly known as black boxes, to record a minimum of two hours before new data begins to overwrite the previous recording. A summary of the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) states that increasing the recording time would “provide accident investigators, aircraft operators, and civil aviation authorities with substantially more cockpit voice recorder data to help find the probable causes of incidents and accidents, prevent future incidents and accidents, and make the FAA’s regulations more consistent with existing international requirements.”
The announcement comes as the agency pledged to take action on the issue during a safety summit in March. Meanwhile, the NTSB has been calling for the change since 2018 but pressed the importance after a spate of close calls involving commercial aircraft this year. In six of those cases, CVR data was unavailable.
“This rule will give us substantially more data to identify the causes of incidents and help prevent them in the future,” said FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.
The proposed rule is set to be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 4 and the public will have 60 days to comment.