New lab will study flight data from air accidents

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority now has a separate centre for analysing flight data recorders.

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ABU DHABI // The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority has launched its own laboratory for analysing flight data and cockpit voice recordings.

The lab, managed by the GCAA's air accident investigation department, should cut analysis times by eliminating the need for outside agencies.

It will examine causes for civil aviation accidents in the UAE and those outside the country that are related to its airlines.

"Modern aircraft are complex … and technology advances have made flight data analysis and playback a widely accepted, necessary and practical activity for all aviation authorities charged with investigation possibilities," said Ismaeil Abdel Wahed, the executive director of the department.

The air accident division, which previously relied on international companies to download and process flight data and recordings, will now use the same tools as the European Aviation Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The GCAA will issue safety recommendations based on the laboratory's findings, said Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the general director of the authority.

The Emirates has the most congested airspace in the region, with five UAE flag carriers flying in and out of a thriving trading centre and tourist destination.

In 2009 the GCAA opened a Dh300 million air traffic control headquarters in Abu Dhabi to handle increases in traffic forecast for the next two decades.