Malaysia Aviation Chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman Quits Over MH370 Lapses

The head of Malaysia’s civil aviation regulator resigned Tuesday after serving the industry for more than 40 years to take responsibility after an independent investigative report highlighted shortcomings in the air traffic control centre during Flight MH370’s disappearance four years ago.

In a long-awaited report released on Monday, the official investigation team pointed to numerous lapses by air traffic controllers in both Malaysia and Vietnam.

These included failing to initiate “emergency phases” as required after the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board vanished from radar displays.

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Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, said the report had found that the air traffic control did not comply with standard operating procedures. Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the report didn’t blame the civil aviation department for the plane’s loss but found that the Kuala Lumpur air traffic control centre failed to comply with operating procedures.

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 fourteen (14) days from the date of the resignation notice which I have served today“, he said in a statement.

The jet carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished on March 8, 2014, and is presumed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean.

The disappearance of the Boeing 777-200 triggered the largest hunt in aviation history. But no sign of it was found in a 120,000-square kilometre (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone.

In a 495-page report, investigators said they still do not know why the plane vanished, but added that the jet was probably “manipulated” off course.

They said the course of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft had been changed manually, and refused to rule out that someone other than the pilots had diverted the jet.

The report said both Malaysian air traffic control and their Vietnamese counterparts failed to act properly when the Boeing jet passed from Malaysian to Vietnamese airspace and disappeared from radars.

(Nilesh) Editorial Staff

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