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February 5, 2015
Press Release

In response to recent aviation tragedies, Congressman David E. Price (D-NC) and Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) re-introduced two bills Thursday to prevent lengthy searches for missing airliners by improving flight tracking and the recovery of in-flight data.

The Safe Aviation Flight Emergency Tracking (SAFE-T) Act would direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require passenger aircraft to be equipped with technology to better identify and track instances when aircraft experience abnormalities or distress and to more quickly recover information when accidents occur.

The Safe Aviation Flight Enhancement (SAFE) Act would require the installation of floating “Black Box” data recorders on domestic commercial aircraft. These recorders, which are already used in military aircraft around the world, eject on impact and immediately transmit a signal identifying the location of a crash site, thereby enabling quick recovery of missing aircraft and data critical to investigations.

“Unfortunately, the recent searches for Malaysia Airlines 370 and AirAsia 8501 are just the latest reminders of how desperately aviation recovery reforms are needed,” said Congressman Price. “These bills would vastly improve our ability to learn from aircraft in distress and would all but eliminate costly and dangerous searches for downed planes.”

“Had Malaysia 370 been equipped with a deployable flight recorder, it would have likely led to the plane’s discovery and provided closure for the families of those onboard,” said Congressman Duncan. “It also could have saved many millions of dollars in search costs that are still being accrued and possibly provide answers critical to preventing a future crash.”

The SAFE Act and SAFE-T Act would address several issues recently identified by the National Transportation Safety Board and bring domestic aviation regulations in line with international standards. Congressman Duncan and Congressman Price first introduced the SAFE Act in the 108th Congress and the SAFE-T Act in the 113th Congress.  Both bills have been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation.