Malaysia’s Aviation Chief Resigns Over MH370 Mistakes

Jul 31, 2018

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The head of civil aviation in Malaysia resigned Tuesday after a report excoriated the country’s air-traffic controllers for failing to keep track of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 after it entered the country’s airspace.

The Boeing 777, with 239 people aboard, disappeared in March 2014. The Malaysian government’s final report on the incident, released Monday, couldn’t come up with an answer to what happened, leaving one of aviation’s biggest mysteries unsolved.

The report did, however, conclude that air-traffic controllers in Malaysia and Vietnam failed in their duties, neglecting to keep to a series of protocols that led to no one being alerted for 20 minutes after they lost track of the plane. That delay by the aviation authorities at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) meant that critical search-and-rescue operations were late in getting underway. Still, investigators didn’t lay the blame on the controllers for the plane’s loss.

“Over the past four years, I have tried my level best to assist in the search for MH370, and I am ever resolute in finding answers we all seek towards this unfortunate tragedy as we owe it to the families and loved ones,” Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, said in a statement.

“Therefore, it is with regret and after much thought and contemplation that I have decided to resign as the Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia effective 14 days from the date of the resignation notice which I have served today.”

The Malaysian transport minister, Anthony Loke, said in a news conference that a committee will be formed to come up with proposed actions against the air-traffic controllers who were supposed to be keeping an eye on MH370.

Featured image by Faris Hadziq/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

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