Friday, November 27, 2015   

(Flight MH370) Malaysia PM admits missteps in crisis
(05-14 12:38)

Malaysia's prime minister has called for international aviation regulators to implement real-time tracking of airliners to prevent a recurrence of the baffling disappearance of flight MH370, while admitting missteps in the first days of the crisis.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, Najib Razak conceded that a chaotic public message and slow start to search and rescue operations in the early days of the plane's disappearance were a mistake, AFP reports.
But he called for changes that "would make it harder for an aircraft to simply disappear, and easier to find any aircraft that did''.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) held a special meeting earlier this week in Montreal to discuss growing calls for real-time tracking of aircraft by satellite, cloud storage of "black box'' data and other innovations.
"One of the most astonishing things about this tragedy is the revelation that an airliner the size of a Boeing 777 can vanish, almost without a trace,'' Najib wrote.
"In an age of smartphones and mobile Internet, real-time tracking of commercial airplanes is long overdue.''
Najib also said regulators should change crucial communications systems to prevent them being manually shut off.
Malaysia has said MH370's transponder, which relays an aircraft's location, and its Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting Systems (ACARS), which transmits information on a plane's mechanical health, appear to have been shut off around the time it went missing.
The Malaysian premier also lent support to calls to extend the battery life of the location beacons for aircraft flight data recorders and to expand the capacity of cockpit voice recorders.
Black box beacons have a battery life of about 30 days. The European Union has proposed increasing that to 90 days.
Cockpit voice recorders can now only record the last two hours of pilot conversations. In MH370's case, any conversations that took place as the plane was diverted early in its mysterious flight would have been overwritten.
Some of the changes being considered by the industry were first proposed after Air France flight 447 crashed in the Atlantic in 2009, killing 228 people, but little has been done.
"These changes may not have prevented the MH370 or Air France 447 tragedies. But they would make it harder for an aircraft to simply disappear, and easier to find any aircraft that did,'' Najib said.
"The global aviation industry must not only learn the lessons of MH370 but implement them. The world learned from Air France but didn't act. The same mistake must not be made again.''
The ICAO meeting this week is expected to lead to a working group that should present its recommendations within five months.
MH370 vanished on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
Despite a massive international search in the Indian Ocean, no trace has been found.
"In the passage of time, I believe Malaysia will be credited for doing its best under near-impossible circumstances,'' Najib wrote.
But he acknowledged "we didn't get everything right'' and said his government would investigate why Malaysian air-traffic controllers, after first noticing MH370 was missing, took four hours to launch a search and rescue.   
Other World breaking news:
Norway begins migrant ID checks (11-26 20:50)
Thailand under fire for holding exploited, abused migrant workers in debt bondage at poultry plants (11-26 20:46)
Russia makes Turkish business pay a price for jet kill (11-26 20:34)
Czech President Milos Zeman rails against ‘organized’ migrant ‘invasion’ (11-26 20:12)
Audio clips show Russian pilot warned to change course (11-26 19:15)
French ban against Muslim headscarf stays (11-26 17:58)
Kenya hears pope’s message of social justice (11-26 17:55)
Francis delivers unifying message to Kenya (11-26 17:50)
Koreans say last goodbyes to late reformist president (11-26 17:30)
Jordan prince predicts long haul fight against Islamic terrorists (11-26 13:43)

More breaking news >>

© 2015 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.