PUTRAJAYA, May 13 – Malaysia will organise a tripartite meeting involving the country, China and Australia to chart the future of the search operation for the vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the meeting would be around “June and July” before the end of 120,000sq km search area for the missing jetliner.
The search operation for Flight MH370 continued in the southern Indian Ocean and as of today, more than 105,000sq km had been covered, he said. He said they are confident of finding the main wreckage (of the aircraft) and this is an important mission for them to continue looking for (Flight) MH370 because they need to find the answer (behind the disappearance).
He told this to the media after the seventh World Chinese Economic Summit, Lifetime Achievement Award Conferment ceremony here Friday. Liow said the search teams would not shift the search area as, based on debris stumbled upon recently, it was confirmed that the search was going in the right direction.
Moreover, he noted, experts had narrowed down a 120,000sq km area as the most probable area where the jetliner might have vanished. The minister said they still have time (to search), because it (the search) has only completed 105,000sq km and they like to complete the 120,000sq km search.
Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, disappeared from the radar during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. On the Rayani Air issue, Liow said the minsitry was still waiting for a report from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) on the airlines’ capability to continue its operations.
“Rayani Air has supposedly come up with a turnaround plan, and the (DCA) director-general (Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman) has promised me the report as soon as possible…within this week. Once I look at the report, I will decide whether to allow Rayani Air to continue with the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) licence,” he added.
Liow said if the ministry was not satisfied with the report, Rayani Air’s licence would be revoked. The DCA had provisionally, suspended the Syariah-compliant airline for three months, beginning April 11. Following the suspension notice sent to the airline on April 11, the DCA will undertake a full administration and safety audit of Rayani Air s state of operations to assess its compliance with the AOC.