It has been announced that the aviation regulator for India has issued a mandate for airline crew to be given training on the ACARS system, following the disappearance and issues surrounding flight MH370.
ACARS delivers and receives mission critical messaging throughout the flight, unless manually deactivated. These messages may include NOTAMs, OOOI, engine information and aircraft performance figures, including air speed, issues, position and weather reporting.
Currently, the only area where ACARS coverage is mandatory is within the North-Atlantic route.
Although some Indian airlines have incorporated ACARS into their aircraft, with the largest operator, IndiGo having used ACARS from their earliest flights, several airlines do not have ACARS capability. Murmurs around the aviation industry suggest that every flight should carry the latest that technology has to offer for mission critical messaging.