The New Zealand Parliament has approved long-awaited legislation to make the use of cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) mandatory in commercial aircraft.

The law makes a major concession to pilots' unions, however, in specifying that CVR recordings will not be used for any purpose other than accident investigation. The Transport Accident Investigation Amendment Bill was recommended last month by the Transport and Environment Select Committee, which specified that it backed the bill on the condition that CVR material is not used to prosecute cockpit crews.

CVRs are fitted in most commercial aircraft in New Zealand, but their use has not been required by law. The country's civil aviation authority has been pushing for such legislation for years, but their efforts have been hampered by concerns over the use of recordings as evidence in court cases.

Source: Flight International