'They have done a good job so far': former MAS CEO

'They have done a good job so far': former MAS CEO

Question: Tan Sri, what is your take on this episode?

Answer: Ever since the news broke, I have been following it closely and talking to a lot of MAS employees on the reports that emerged. It puzzles me and it has become a guessing game. There was no information from the cockpit, as if there were people manipulating the flight. So many countries are involved in the search-and-rescue (SAR) operation. If it is not in the water, then it should be somewhere else. They are now searching in the Indian Ocean. This is complex and I do not think anyone can make a guess of where it is. I can only pray that they (the passengers and crew members) are safe.

Question: As far as we know, there was no crash, no explosion, no communication. If you eliminate all these scenarios, it seems the only remaining explanation is foul play, either hijacking or sabotage. How do you reckon that the transponder and all other communication and tracking equipment have been disengaged? It appears the aircraft could be masquerading or hiding in plain sight.

Answer: It is possible, or was it a sabotage? After so many hours and so many days, the plane must have landed somewhere and it simply cannot land anywhere. There has to be a proper airport, weather conditions, so on and so forth (as considerations). Not many airports can accommodate such a large aircraft which requires at least 2km of runway. It is highly improbable and very dangerous for a pilot to land on shorter runways. The available technology should be able to detect the aircraft.

Question: Do you feel the investigation is up to mark?

Answer: In view of such an extraordinary and unprecedented incident in the aviation history, I must say they (Department of Civil Aviation, (MAS, the Armed Forces, government and others) have done a good job so far. They have to put together a team and we cannot expect anything better and extraordinary in such an environment. The standard operating procedures are highly regulated and follow the International Civil Aviation Organisation's Air Navigation Order, 1957. The DCA is the lead agency. While MAS has a reduced role in investigations, it has a lot of questions to answer. The team has done all they can.

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