Modernizing safety standards in the airline industry could improve the ability to locate downed planes and avoid another missing airplane.
An airliner missing? Preposterous! Absurd! Unbelievable!
Yet, twice within 12 months, the unthinkable replicates itself. “Not the same,” cries out the airline industry. You can’t compare Malaysia Flight 370 with this AirAsia 8501, they smugly intone.
Indeed, the reasons why the two flights went missing are likely vastly different, but the fact we do not know the whereabouts of either is the same: so, sure I can compare the immediate reason the families of those onboard each flight are, and will likely remain, in agony until hard answers are given.
Before Flight 370 disappeared, there had long been suggestions for the improvement of flight tracking and information streaming for all airliners in real time. After, the suggestions were shouted by the aviation safety community. Where are the flight data and cockpit voice recorders that we know how to separate from wreckage and float? The technology is already there to make them float. Where is the improved satellite-based information tracking — GPS anyone? — that surely could be implemented if the industry had the will?
The airline industry, including airlines and air frame manufacturers, must be held responsible for this appalling lack of modernization.