NO MAJOR REVELATIONS IN OFFICIAL REPORT ON MISSING FLIGHT; FAMILIES OF VICTIMS TOLD TO GO HOME
KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia Thursday recommended the introduction of a standard for real time tracking of commercial airliners even as the families of passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing in March were advised to receive information about the aircraft at their homes
“It is recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organisation examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real time tracking of commercial air transport aircraft,” the Malaysian transport ministry said in a preliminary report on the investigation into the ill-fated passenger jet.
“While commercial air transport aircraft spend considerable amounts of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no requirement for real time tracking of these aircraft,” the report said.
“There have now been two occasions during the last five years when large commercial air transport aircraft have gone missing and their last position was not accurately known. This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner.”
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.
Thursday’s report gave a detailed timeline of the events that unfolded that fateful night, the steps taken by the authorities to track down the aircraft and the multinational search effort that followed and in now continuing in the southern Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said Thursday in a statement that the families of the missing flight were advised to receive information at their homes as the search and investigation would be a prolonged process and advanced compensation payments would be made.
The statement said, according to past experience, the continuing search and investigation would be a prolonged process and the company was adjusting the mode of services and support.
“Instead of staying in hotels, the families of MH370 are advised to receive information updates on the progress of the search and investigation and other support by Malaysia Airlines within the comfort of their own homes, with the support and care of their families and friends,” Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.
It also said all of the company’s Family Assistance Centers around the world would be closed by May 7, 2014, and Malaysia Airlines would keep in close touch with the families on the news updates through various ways.
“With the support of the Malaysian government, the airline’s Family Support Centers will be established in Kuala Lumpur and in Beijing,” it said, adding that the detailed plan of follow-up support and services would be informed in person to the families.
Moreover, the statement said Malaysia Airlines would make advanced compensation payments to the nominated next-of-kin who are entitled to claim compensation.
“Such advanced payments will not affect the rights of the next-of-kin to claim compensation according to the law at a later stage, and will be calculated as part of the final compensation,” it said.
It also said the company’s representatives would be in touch with the families to initiate the advanced compensation payment after they had returned home.