First Anniversary of the Tragic Disappearance of MH370

​MONTRÉAL – 6 March 2015 – Marking the anniversary of the tragic loss and unprecedented disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, on 8 March 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) extends its continued sympathies to the families of the passengers and crew who have yet to be found, and its ongoing support to all States and agencies still involved in related search efforts.


2014 represented one of aviation’s safest years in terms of how few accidents were recorded, but events relating to MH370 and the later downing of MH17 identified some important gaps which can arise under rare operational circumstances. The aviation community is now addressing those gaps and we will continue to make the safety of our passengers and aircraft our highest priority.


Responding to the loss of MH370, Chicago Convention signatory States recently set forth important new recommendations at ICAO’s second High-Level Safety Conference (HLSC), held at our Headquarters in February of this year.


At that Conference, participants recommended the adoption of ICAO’s Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS), including its near-term 15-minute tracking objective for normal flight operations and its 1-minute distress and abnormal flight tracking requirement. The GADSS concept of operations was developed over 2014 by the Working Group ICAO established immediately after MH370’s disappearance. Its 15-minute and 1-minute tracking provisions are currently projected to become applicable in 2016 and 2021 respectively.


These new tracking requirements, as well as the first assistance and implementation exercises relating to them which ICAO expects to complete by August of this year, will provide both States and operators with a clearer path forward and greatly improve the ability of search and rescue professionals to locate downed aircraft in remote areas.


The aviation sector has also learned from MH370 that we must respond to even very rare events in our network when there is a question of public trust involved. The loss of MH370 represented in a general sense a one-in-100-million flight event for global aviation, and yet our community has reacted to its loss cooperatively and as a matter of high priority.


Accident and fatality prevention still remain our most fundamental safety priorities in aviation, and it is therefore our great hope that MH370 can eventually be found so that the lessons relating to how and why it was lost will be understood and actioned to the benefit of future passengers and crew.



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