SEPANG, April 13 – Two representatives from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) will be sent to assist the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) in Perth, Australia in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, said acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. He said Malaysia will also send representatives from three special ministerial committees on Flight MH370 to Perth to discuss the next course of action on the search and recovery of its black box with the Australian authorities. “I have requested for the two DCA representatives to be absorbed into the JACC in Perth. “Yesterday, I also informed Angus Houston (JACC chief coordinator, retired Air Marshall) that there’s a high probability that the ministerial committees’ chairmen or their representatives would be in Perth to discuss what else can be done and the next course of action,” he said.
Hishammuddin, who is also the Defence Minister, was speaking at a press conference after visiting the low cost carrier terminal KLIA2, here today. He said there has been no let up in intensity in the Australian led search operation which is racing against the clock to find the missing plane’s black box, which would hopefully shed some light on this tragic mystery. “They are going all out to ascertain if the pings detected so far are in fact coming from the flight’s black box,” he said. Three ministerial committees were recently set up to streamline the ongoing search efforts, namely a next-of-kin committee, headed by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Hamzah Zainuddin; a technical committee headed by Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi and deployment of assets committee, helmed by Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri. The search for the missing plane has entered its 36th day and the incident has now been labeled the biggest mystery in aviation history.
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. Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of Boeing 777-200 aircraft, that flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”. The search continues there.