MH370 fallout: India orders real-time monitoring of all flights

Following the unexplained disappearance of Malaysian Airlines' flight MH370, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation today ordered the country's airlines to track planes in real time from takeoff to landing.

The order reportedly follows a recommendation from Malaysian authorities to take such a step.

All aircraft ferrying passengers and cargo should be monitored for an interim period until the International Air Transport Association outlines suggestions for continuous tracking by the end of 2014, the DGCA said in a directive today.

Airlines must use the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast if ACARS is disabled, the DGCA said. In areas beyond either system's coverage, flight crew must report co-ordinates, speed and altitude at least every 15 minutes.

The hunt for the Malaysian Airline System Bhd-operated Boeing Co. 777-200ER, which had 239 people on board, is the longest for a missing passenger jet in modern aviation history. The plane's disappearance on 8 March has baffled authorities after contact was lost less than an hour into a routine trip to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

The DGCA has also asked airlines to devise a procedure for effective tracking of aircraft while flying over areas where there is no coverage from ACARS or ADS-B.