PERTH, Australia: The Malaysian airliner’s disappearance underscores the need for improvements in security, both in tracking aircraft and in screening passengers, the International Air Transport Association said.
The Malaysian government, meanwhile, said investigators were conducting a forensic examination of the final recorded conversation between ground control and the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 before it went missing three weeks ago with 239 people on board.
The IATA announced it is creating a task force that will make recommendations by the end of the year on how commercial aircraft can be tracked continuously.
“We cannot let another aircraft simply vanish,” said Tony Tyler, the director general of IATA, whose 240 member airlines carry 84 percent of all passengers and cargo worldwide.
Tyler also urged governments to step up the use of passport databases such as the one operated by Interpol to determine if they have been stolen.
Most countries including Malaysia don’t run passports through Interpol’s computer system.
The hunt for Flight 370 has turned up no confirmed sign of the Boeing 777, which vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Australia has deployed an airborne traffic controller to prevent collisions as search planes fly over the Indian Ocean.
Under normal circumstances, ground-based air traffic controllers use radar and other equipment to track all aircraft in their area of reach and direct planes so they are at different altitudes and distances.