Malaysia′s civil aviation chief resigns over MH370 failures | News | DW | 31.07.2018
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Malaysia's civil aviation chief resigns over MH370 failures

A report on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight had shown failures by the air traffic control center in Kuala Lumpur. The jet carrying 239 people from the Malaysian capital to Beijing disappeared in 2014.

The Malaysian civil aviation authority's chief resigned on Tuesday, a day after an independent report on the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 found lapses by air traffic controllers working at the control center in Kuala Lumpur.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said although the report released on Monday did not blame his department for the plane's disappearance, it found that air traffic controllers had failed to comply with standard 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 14 days from the date of the resignation notice which I have served today," he said in the statement.

The investigative report, prepared by a 19-member international team, shed little fresh light on the disappearance of the jet carrying 239 people from the Malaysian capital to Beijing had disappeared four years ago. The aircraft is presumed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean.

The investigators said the controls of the aircraft were likely deliberately manipulated to take it off course but they could not determine who was responsible.

According to the report, air traffic control failed to swiftly initiate an emergency response and monitor radar continuously. The controllers also failed to alert the air force and relied heavily on information from Malaysia Airlines.

'Easy way out'

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the government had formed a committee to investigate the lapses and suggest possible action against the air traffic controllers on duty at the time.

Grace Subathirai Nathan, whose mother was aboard the plane, said had the air traffic controllers not committed "horrible mistakes," the outcome could have been different.

She said Azharuddin had "taken the easy way out" by quitting.

"He has not explained the failings of the controllers, why it happened, what caused it? Was (it) incompetence? Was it neglect? What was it?" she wrote on Facebook.

ap/kms (AP, Reuters)

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