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Karamjit Kaur, Aviation Correspondent

Fast action needed to ensure air safety

Published on Apr 11, 2014 12:01 PM
Crew members in a fast response craft from the Australian vessel Ocean Shield being lowered onto the water to search for debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean on Monday. -- PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

IN JUNE 2009, when Air France Flight AF447 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, it left no survivors and exposed serious gaps in the way commercial planes are tracked and pilots trained.

At the end of its official probe, the French BEA, the Bureau of Inquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation, made 41 technical and other recommendations.

If the global aviation community acted urgently on some of these, it might have made the ongoing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 less agonising.

More than a month after MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean, about 2,000km north-west of Perth, Australia. There is little hope that any of the 239 crew and passengers who were on the flight survived.

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Background story

Little progress has been made since the 2009 crash of AF447 regarding flight tracking and the use of deployable flight recorders on commercial aircraft.