The U.S. FAA proposed a series of significant upgrades to
aircraft black boxes that will increase the quality, quantity, and survivability of recorded data. Under the proposed rules, all voice recorders must record the last two hours of cockpit audio instead of the currently required 15 to 30 minutes. Also, a 10-minute independent backup power source for the voice recorders would be required to allow recording even if all aircraft power sources were lost or interrupted. Voice recorders also would have to use technology other than magnetic tape, which is vulnerable to damage and decreased reliability.