MONTREAL – It’s a devastating loss for hundreds of families. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 lost contact with traffic control March 8 and nothing – no debris or evidence – has surfaced since.
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Now, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is using this tragedy to make a plan for better global tracking systems and it has spent the last two days discussing how to make it work.
“Ultimately, in order to assure that every aircraft will be tracked, we need standards that will be converted to regulations,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO Council President.
ICAO is working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to make global tracking more of a priority.
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They’ve put together a task force to set the first international standard for tracking planes.
“Not all aircrafts are create equal or have the same equipage,” said Kevin Hiatt, IATA Senior VP Safety and Flight Operations.
“What the task force will do is take a look at the equipage, take a look at the types of aircrafts that are out there.”
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ICAO wants planes to transmit basic flight information like position, altitude, and speed more frequently.
It also wants to improve communication over oceans and remote areas, but even once this is established, it will be up to countries to implement and enforce the regulation.
“We’re also going to be encouraging a series of drills or scenarios on certain parts of the world – in fact all over the world – that will enable what is really an extraordinarily rare event to be drilled,” said Nancy Graham, ICAO Air Navigation Bureau Director.
The agency, which is governed by the United Nations, said that what happened in March with the missing Malaysia Airlines flight is unacceptable.
“We take the loss of every single aircraft and every single life seriously,” said Aliu.
The new global tracking plan is expected to be underway by the end of the year.
A man stands in front of a billboard in support of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have a meeting at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 23, 2014.
The Associated Press
Pilot and aircraft captain, Flight Lieutenant Timothy McAlevey of the Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF) P-3K2-Orion aircraft, helps to look for objects during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in flight over the Indian Ocean on April 13, 2014 off the coast of Perth, Australia.
Greg Wood /Getty Images
Feng Zhishang cries as family members mark the birthday of his son Feng Dong, a passenger onboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at a hotel where relatives gather to wait for news of the missing plane in Beijing, China, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Search crews have failed to relocate faint sounds heard deep in the Indian Ocean, possibly from the missing Malaysian jetliner’s black boxes whose batteries are at the end of their life.
AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
Royal New Zealand Air Force’s P-3 Orion sits on the tarmac at RAAF base Peace in Perth, Australia, Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Ten planes and nine ships resume the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
AP Photo/Rob Griffith
A ground crewman stands in front of a South Korean P3 Orion after it returned from the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 30, 2014.
AP Photo/Rob Griffith
In this Monday, March 24, 2014 photo, a crewman of an RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft looks out his observation window whilst searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean.
AP Photo/Richard Wainwright
A ground controller guides a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion to rest after sunset upon its return from a search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at the Royal Australian Air Force base Pearce, near Perth March 24, 2014.
AP Photo/Jason Reed
The search for the plane is one of the largest in aviation history, and now involves 26 countries. The search area now covers 7.7 million square kilometres.
© The Canadian Press, 2014