In response to the apparent shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) denied even the possibility that any airline risks the safety of its passengers, crew and aircraft for the sake of saving fuel by taking the most direct flight routings. “Airlines depend on governments and ATC authorities to advise which airspace is available for flight and they plan within those limits,” said IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler on July 18.
A team of ICAO investigators is expected to be dispatched this week to assist in the search for what brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on July 17. The Ukraine government officially requested the Montreal aviation organization’s help on July 18. Under ICAO’s Annex 13, the country where the accident happens is primarily responsible for conducting the investigation, unless, as in this case, that country requests additional assistance.
[Updated: 10.35 a.m. EDT, Friday, July 18]
Malaysian Airlines has confirmed that one of its Boeing 777s has crashed in eastern Ukraine, about 31 miles from the border with Russia. Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 280 passengers and 15 crew on board. According to Ukrainian air traffic controllers, they lost contact with the aircraft at around 14.15 UTC almost 20 miles from the waypoint at Tamak.
In less than two months from now, the Aircraft Tracking Task Force (AATF), set up in May under the auspices of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is due present an interim report widely regarded by the industry as a key first step to avoid a repeat of a situation that continues to baffle and gravely concern the industry, namely: how on earth could a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 completely vanish on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
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.”
Australian officials have once again amended the search area for the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 missing since March 8. “Specialists have analyzed satellite communications information–information that was never initially intended to have the capability to track an aircraft–and performed extremely complex calculations,” said Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss. “The new priority area is still focused on the seventh arc, where the aircraft last communicated with a satellite. We are now shifting our attention to an area farther south along the arc based on these calculations.”
IT provider Sita has begun using new technologies such as Apple’s iBeacon to provide real-time information on mobile devices to help passengers move seamlessly across airports to board flights on time. American Airlines has become the first carrier to try the Sita common-use beacon registry, launched at the recent Sita Air Transport IT summit in Brussels.
Londonderry, N.H.-based Pro Star Aviation has named Thomas Kennedy director of maintenance. In his new role, Kennedy will use his 27 years of experience to manage the MRO’s day-to-day airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul functions. Before joining Pro Star Aviation, Kennedy held various positions, from lead technician at British Midland Airways to director of maintenance at both Jet Aviation and Signature TechnicAir in Bedford, Mass. Most recently he was Northeast regional engine manager for Dallas Airmotive.
Chinese carriers have canceled several flights to Kota Kinabalu in response to poor market demand and safety concerns following a spate of kidnappings of Taiwanese and Chinese tourists in the east Malaysian state of Sabah since April.