Liow to talk with US officials over aviation security

Liow to talk with US officials over aviation security
Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.

KUALA LUMPUR - Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and senior US civil aviation officials will meet to discuss measures to improve security in the sector.

Flying over conflict zones and real-time tracking of commercial aircraft would be among the topics on the agenda, said Liow.

The meeting comes in the wake of the tragedies involving Malaysia Airlines MH370 and MH17 flights in March and July respectively.

The meeting will take place in Washington DC later this week, after which Liow will head to Montreal, Canada, for the 203rd Session of the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council.

On the hunt for MH370, Liow said the operations had moved to the underwater stage since Oct 6, after GO Phoenix - a vessel contracted by the Malaysian Government - arrived to search on the seventh are associated with the last satellite signal from the jetliner.

He added that Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein would be in Perth for the vessel's first port of call in Australia tomorrow.

"We would like to assure the families that MH370 remains a top priority and the Malaysian Government is fully dedicated to continuing the search," he said in a statement yesterday.

Liow said more than 130,000sq km had been mapped in the ongoing bathymetric survey of the seabed in the southern Indian Ocean since June, and was expected to continue until the end of the month.

Another vessel, Fugro Discovery, jointly funded by Malaysia and Australia, will commence search operations in the next few days while Fugro Equator is expected to be mobilised as a search vessel when its bathymetric work is completed by October.

Liow said officials from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau were scheduled to attend a bilateral meeting here on Thursday and Friday.

As the search continued, the MH370 Search Strategy Working Group, which consists of experts from various international organisations, would independently review and refine all available data, he added.

"Data has been derived from information obtained by world-class experts, cutting-edge technology and undersea equipment utilised in the search.

"We have also received the raw data from Inmarsat, which will be uploaded onto the website in due course," said Liow.

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