In the four months since the March 8 disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, the consensus on what happened appears to have boiled down to one basic view, simply stated by International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Tony Taylor at the association’s annual meeting in Doha, Qatar, on June 2. “The loss of MH370 continues to be on everybody’s mind. I have no idea what happened to that aircraft,” he said. “I don’t think anyone else has, either.”
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expects to complete a global standard for aircraft tracking in less than two years, Nancy Graham, director of the organization’s Air Navigation Bureau, said on June 5. Some airlines with the capability have already started automatic tracking, she told the RTCA Symposium in Washington, D.C.
Triggered by the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 in June 2009 in the Atlantic and compounded by the loss of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean in March, representatives of ICAO member states and of the aviation industry agreed on a set of near-term priority actions and a framework for medium- and long-term objectives, at a special meeting on global aircraft tracking at ICAO in Montreal on May 14.
Last week’s conference on aircraft tracking in Kuala Lumpur came just two months after the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Multimedia requested help to determine the best methods for watching commercial aircraft in real time following the March 8 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The preliminary report on the accident, issued last month, recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organization examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft.
Although the intentions were good, in reality rolling out the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS)–considered a cornerstone of the European Union’s policy to combat climate change and the key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective manner–to international aviation has backfired spectacularly.
Lebanon’s inability to appoint a fully fledged civil aviation authority has led to failures to pass ICAO audits, but has not raised safety concerns about airlines operating within the country, a senior Lebanese civil aviation official told AIN recently in Dubai.
The International Civil Aviation Organization on May 14 agreed to work toward tracking airline flights, no matter their global location or destination. The specially convened ICAO meeting in Montreal on May 13 and 14 also established a framework for medium- and long-term future tracking efforts.
Air transport industry groups and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have agreed a framework for developing a binding mandate for aircraft tracking. At a two-day meeting that concluded on May 13 at ICAO’s Montreal headquarters, participants agreed to encourage voluntary expansion of flight monitoring by airlines ahead of an initial set of proposed new requirements being submitted to the United Aviation body by the end of September.
As I write, the whereabouts of the missing Boeing 777 operating as Malaysia Air Flight 370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing remains unknown. The Prime Minister of Malaysia has announced that analysis of satellite data suggests the airplane crashed in the south Indian Ocean but no debris linked to the aircraft has been found.
- Page 1