KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 – In the wake of the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane tragedy, Malaysia will host the aviation industry ICT experts’ meeting next month to find ways to enable black box information be channelled directly to the earth data centre base. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi said the black box system upgrading would be discussed at the meeting, that is led and organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and fully supported by MCMC. “Malaysia is the pioneer for this meeting and it is hoped good input is received given that ITU itself has a membership of 190 countries,” he told BERNAMA in Kuala Lumpur, Friday. The effort was vital in view of the difficulties faced in the search operation for the MAS plane and its black box, which entered its 28th day Friday after its transponder and communication system were deliberately switched off.
Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have landed in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day. A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean Currently the search continues to the west of Perth, Australia. Last week, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek requested ITU to develop a sophisticated system to facilitate the sending of flight data in real time following the disappearance of the MAS plane.
When speaking at the World Telecommunications Development Conference in Dubai, the minister said the Malaysian government believed that the data from the plane, including from the black box, could be sent continuously and stored at the earth data centre. Mohamed Sharil said the date of the meeting would be fixed later as the organiser was still in the process of making preparation for it. He said the diversity of data that was being found in an aircraft at present had made it difficult for ICT and aviation experts to select and channel such data to the earth data centre. “Data in a modern plane in this present age is of all sorts…so the selection is important because experts need to know which data should be sent as real time, in stages or during emergency so this incident (missing flight MH370) does not occur again in future,” he said. The black box is important as it stores communication information records and flight data.