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MH370 Search Prompts Call for Better Aircraft Tracking

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | April 2, 2014
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[Avionics Today April 2, 2014] As the search for the missing Boeing 777 from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 reaches its fourth week, International Air Transportation Association (IATA) CEO Tony Tyler called on the global aviation industry to produce a better method for tracking aircraft.

Officials leading the investigation for MH370 believe that the missing aircraft landed in the southern Indian Ocean after flying off course for a flight leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. The investigators believe they less than a week before the aircraft’s black boxes stop transmitting signals that would help the searchers locate them if they’re currently deep underwater.
“In a world where our every move seems to be tracked, there is disbelief both that an aircraft could simply disappear and that the flight data and cockpit voice recorders are so difficult to recover. Air France 447 brought similar issues to light a few years ago and some progress was made. But that must be accelerated. We cannot let another aircraft simply vanish,” said Tyler in a speech on air transportation safety in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airlines has released the full transcript of communications between the flight crew of MH370 and Air Traffic Control (ATC) Kuala Lumpur.  The transcript shows nothing abnormal in exchanges between the pilot and controllers.
“The international investigations team and the Malaysian authorities remain of the opinion that, up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, MH370’s movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane,” said by Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian Minister of Defense.
Tyler also expressed IATA’s support for better global tracking of commercial aircraft. 
The IATA chief said that his organization will form a new task force in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in an effort to facilitate a new method for global tracking of commercial aircraft.
“Industry must — and will — play a role in supporting ICAO in this effort with a united position. IATA will convene an expert task force that will include ICAO participation to ensure that the work is well coordinated. This group will examine all of the options available for tracking commercial aircraft against the parameters of implementation, investment, time and complexity to achieve the desired coverage,” said Tyler.
The task force will report its conclusions in December, Tyler said. 

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