Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 1, 2014 at 5:47 AM | Page modified April 1, 2014 at 3:58 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (9)
  • Print

Missing jet leads airlines to seek more security, passenger checks

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 highlights the need for security improvements both in tracking aircraft and screening passengers before they board planes, the International Air Transport Association said Tuesday.


Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
So passenger security will solve the problem, when the best theory of the disappearance... MORE
They won't stop until it's Prison jumpsuits, flip flops, and no carry-ons MORE
More useless "Security Theater" that inconveniences many but makes no one any... MORE

advertising

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia —

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 highlights the need for security improvements both in tracking aircraft and screening passengers before they board planes, the International Air Transport Association said Tuesday.

The global airline body also 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.

"In a world where our every move seems to be tracked, there is disbelief that an aircraft could simply disappear," Tyler said. "Accidents are rare, but the current search for 370 is a reminder that we cannot be complacent on safety."

The three-week hunt for Flight 370 has turned up no sign of the Boeing 777, which vanished March 8 with 239 people on board bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. A multinational search team of aircraft and ships are searching a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean but say they have no idea where the plane might have gone down hours after it vanished from radar.

Tyler also called on governments to step up the use of passenger databases such as the one operated by Interpol to determine if a passport has been stolen. Interpol has a database of 40 million stolen or lost travel documents, but most countries including Malaysia don't run passports through its computer system.

"Airlines are neither border guards nor policemen. That is the well-established responsibility of governments," Tyler said. "The information is critical and must be used effectively."

Last week, Interpol rejected comments from a Malaysian minister that it takes too much time and is too difficult to check the agency's database.

The police agency said in a statement that it "takes just seconds" to reveal if a passport is listed on its database, which is regularly used by the United States, Singapore and other countries.

The presence of two men on the Malaysia Airlines flight with stolen passports had raised speculation of a possible terrorist link, but it is now thought they were asylum seekers attempting to get to Europe. Nonetheless, their easy access to the flight "rings alarm bells," Tyler said.

IATA said more than 3 billion people flew safely on 36.4 million flights last year. There were 81 accidents, 16 which were fatal with 210 deaths.

___

Associated Press writer Jocelyn Gecker in Bangkok contributed to this report.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Bad email habits to break today


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►