We are studying aircraft tracking methods: ICAO

KUALA LUMPUR - The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said it is studying a number of different options to improve aircraft tracking and detection.

Its air navigation bureau director Nancy Graham said there were some existing technologies available alongside the new, but there were pros and cons to all of them.

"There are many different solutions and they all have to be studied. Our working groups have already been looking at this for some time and we are always investigating new technologies and new ways," she told The Star at the International Air Transport Association Ops Conference here yesterday.

She said ICAO already had several task forces in place since 2009 and implemented some changes even before the MH370 tragedy.

"In aviation, we wait for results, look at the data and solve problems," she said, urging people to keep in mind that flying was still the safest form of transportation.

On the MH370 crisis, she said it was an unprecedented situation which was incredibly difficult for everyone, adding that an ICAO staff member's wife was on board the plane.

She said she was very grateful that so many nations had stepped in to work together.

"What we don't want is to pre-judge the outcome of the investigation. Putting the families through multiple scenarios is terribly harmful to them and to public perception of the investigation," she said.

Airports Council International director-general Angela Gittens said she could understand the huge amount of speculation going around given the limited information available.

"Obviously, the authorities are doing the best they can. And when you don't have anything to tell people and yet they're still asking, it's just a very difficult situation," she said.

She added that Malaysia seemed to be doing a good job, especially in allowing itself to be helped by international experts as this was a global issue that concerned all.