Malaysia today released raw satellite data used to determine the path of the ill-fated Flight MH370, meeting a key demand by kin of the 239 people, including five Indians, on board the plane.
The country's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) released the raw data obtained from British satellite firm Inmarsat which was used to determine the path of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200. "Inmarsat and the DCA have been working for the release of the data communication logs and the technical description of the analysis," a statement issued by the department said.
The department said 47 pages of data containing the communication logs as well as relevant explanations and tables was being released in accordance with Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's instructions. The Malaysian government and UK's Inmarsat had earlier said they will release raw satellite data used to narrow down the search for the missing plane to the southern Indian Ocean to the public for "greater transparency".
Families of the passengers on board the plane, which disappeared on March 8 over South China Sea, have been demanding that the raw data be made public. The fate of the plane and those on board has become one of the great aviation mysteries of modern times.
Inmarsat, the company whose satellites communicated with the missing plane in its last hours, had said it did not have the authority to release the data. But last week, Inmarsat and Malaysian authorities said they were trying to make the raw data accessible.
Publication of the raw satellite data could allow for independent analysis of what happened on March 8, the day the plane veered sharply off its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and dropped off radar screens.
Malaysia believes the plane- carrying 239 people, including five Indians - was deliberately diverted by someone on board. The Malaysian government has been criticised for its handling of the tragedy, particularly by the relatives of the Chinese passengers on board the plane, besides being accused of hiding information.
Analysts have said the data could help discount some theories about what happened to the jetliner, and potentially fuel new ones.
Malaysia and Australia, the two countries at the forefront of the search, have said that an analysis by international experts of all the available information -- including the satellite data -- leads them to conclude that the plane ended up in the southern Indian Ocean.