Airline Expert Tyler: 'We Cannot Let Another Aircraft Simply Vanish'

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 07:12 PM

By Jason Devaney

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An airline industry leader said Tuesday he will make sure all planes are constantly tracked in response to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Flight MH370 has been missing for more than three weeks since its tracking devices were turned off mid-flight. Investigators believe it crashed in the Indian Ocean,  but an intense, multi-national search effort has turned up few leads.

Tony Tyler, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said Tuesday that a plane will never go missing again.

"We cannot let another aircraft simply vanish," Tyler said during an industry seminar, as reported by ABC News "We must assure this cannot happen again."

Calls for similar action came after an Air France flight crashed in the Atlantic Ocean five years ago. It took two years for investigators to locate and recover the wreckage and the black boxes at a cost of $135 million, according to ABC.

The mechanisms that emit an electronic ping from black boxes once they are submerged in water are now required to have a battery life of 90 days, although the Malaysia Airlines jet's black boxes still had the old standard of 30 days.

ABC cites data from the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses, a French accident investigation agency, which claims there have been 26 airline accidents in the last 30 years that required underwater searches lasting from three days to more than three months. The organization recommended in 2010 that either flight data be streamed or black boxes be designed to break away and float to the surface in a water accident.

Later in the Tuesday conference, Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman began talking about the missing jet when he suddenly stopped and asked, "Is there any media here? Can I ask the media to stay out please?"

A spokesman for the IATA said Rahman was informed ahead of time there would be media present at his speech. There were cameras visible and several journalists in the audience, but everyone was told to leave after his request.

Rahman would not speak with reporters after the conference but, Tyler said, sensitivity and tension between Malaysia and the media might have been to blame.

"Malaysia has had an extremely difficult time," Tyler said in the ABC story. "I for one would not like to criticize them. If mistakes were made, they’ll learn from them."

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