The FAA is proposing to extend cockpit noise recording time to 25 hours

(CNN) The Federal Aviation Administration is working on requiring aircraft to have longer cockpit voice recorders.

The announcement comes after the agency held an emergency summit on Wednesday after a series of near-misses on US runways.

The FAA said it is “initiating regulations requiring Cockpit Voice Recorders to record 25 hours of information.” Currently, the cockpit voice recorder, one of two so-called “black boxes” on an aircraft, only captures the most recent two hours of sound in the cockpit.

The regulatory process could take several years, and the agency added it would welcome Congressional interference in the matter. The FAA has previously said it is not pursuing regulation in this area because it had other priorities.

The National Transportation Safety Board has said that cockpit audio recordings are not available on all runway incursion incidents it investigates because more than two hours elapsed before the recordings could be retrieved.

The NTSB recommended the 25-hour standard after a 2017 incident in which a plane attempted to land on a runway occupied by several other planes at San Francisco International Airport. It said in its 2018 report that the lack of cockpit footage hampered its research.

The board has also identified more than a dozen other events since 2003 where investigators were unable to listen to important audio due to the limited memory of the recorders.

A litany of incidents — including violent turbulence that injured passengers and a 2022 incident in which a United Airlines Boeing 777 crashed into the Pacific Ocean — prompted this week’s summit. And since the beginning of the year there have been a disturbing number of high-profile “near misses” when aircraft involved in landing or takeoff procedures at airports came dangerously close to potential disaster.

After the summit, the FAA said they will also “create an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to explore how to make greater use of data collected by the aircraft and its systems.”

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