Malaysia's transport ministry on Thursday released a preliminary report on the investigation into the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 recommending the introduction of a standard for real time tracking of commercial airliners. "It is recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organisation examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real time tracking of commercial air transport aircraft," the report stated in its safety recommendations.
"While commercial air transport aircraft spend considerable amounts of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no requirement for real time tracking of these aircraft," the report said. "There have now been two occasions during the last five years when large commercial air transport aircraft have gone missing and their last position was not accurately known. This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner."
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8. The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians. Thursday's report gave a detailed timeline of the events that unfolded that fateful night, the steps taken by the authorities to track down the aircraft and the multinational search effort that followed and in now continuing in the southern Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia.