The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released the final report into Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, calls for precise flight tracking system than the current 15-minute interval of position tracking.
On 8 March 2014, a Boeing 777 aircraft operated as Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370) was lost during a flight from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing in China carrying 12 crew and 227 passengers. The search for the missing aircraft commenced on 8 March 2014 and continued for 1,046 days until 17 January 2017 when it was suspended in accordance with a decision made by a tripartite of Governments, being Malaysia, Australia and China.
Regardless of the cause of the loss of MH370, there were no transmissions received from the aircraft after the first 38 minutes of the flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the aircraft’s position including the transponder and the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system failed to transmit the aircraft’s position after this time period. Subsequent analysis of radar and satellite communication data revealed the aircraft had actually continued to fly for a further seven hours. Its last position was positively fixed at the northern tip of Sumatra by the surveillance systems operating that night, six hours before it ended the flight in the southern Indian Ocean.
Search operation headed by Australia, mapped a total of 710,000 square kilometres of Indian Ocean seafloor, the largest ever single hydrographic survey. The high resolution sonar search covered an area in excess of 120,000 square kilometres at the cost of $155 million, which is shared by Malaysia 58%, Australia 32%, and China 10%.
After 1046 days of search using high-tech marine equipment, the search team found nothing, except few structural parts surfaced on the coast of Africa.
The reasons for the loss of MH370 cannot be established with certainty until the aircraft is found. It is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on board.
ATSB calls on the Aerospace industry to explore the possibilities to better track an aircraft in real time and said “The ICAO mandated 15-minute position tracking interval for existing aircraft may not reduce a potential search area enough to ensure that survivors and wreckage are located within a reasonable timeframe.”
Full report : ATSB MH370