Cockpit cams divide opinion

30 January 2015

The National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB)'s recent call for cockpit video recorders in the wake of the AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines disasters has been dismissed by the world's largest pilots' union as a "premature overreaction".

The US's most powerful aviation safety organisation reiterated in January a previous proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration for a protected system able to provide a visual record of the last two hours of crashed flights to investigators.

The Air Line Pilots Association, however, claimed the technology would not improve safety and "could, in fact, impede it by diverting limited resources that could be used for more valuable safety enhancements".

The NTSB also suggested that aircraft should also be equipped with more accurate, tamper-resistant locators than are currently available.

"Technology has reached a point where we shouldn't have to search hundreds of miles of ocean floor in a frantic race to find these valuable boxes," said acting chairman Christopher Hart. "In this day and age, lost aircraft should be a thing of the past."

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