Malaysia to Release MH370 Satellite Data for ‘Greater Transparency’
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | May 21, 2014 8:43 AM EST
The satellite data of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 will be publicly released. The Civil Aviation Department of Malaysia and UK company Inmarsat issued a joint statement which said that the release was "in line with our commitment to greater transparency."
The shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion maritime search aircraft can be seen on low-level clouds as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean looking for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 March 31, 2014.
There has been a demand of the raw satellite data to be released. Several family members of the 239 people who were on board in the missing flight demanded for it so that it could be open for independent analysis. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad asked aviation officials to reveal how capable they had to seize control of a flight.
The Malaysian government said that calculations using signals sent to Inmarsat satellites had showed MH370 veered off course and ended up in the Indian Ocean, The Guardian reported. The flight went missing on March 8 while it was flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Australia has been leading an underwater search but still no wreckage has been found yet.
"In moving forward it is imperative for us to provide helpful information to the next of kin and general public, which will include the data communication logs as well as relevant explanation to enable the reader to understand the data provided," according to the statement. It was not disclosed when the date would be made public. At the same time, it emphasised that the data was merely one among several elements which were to be investigated.
Malaysia has faced harsh criticism internationally because of the way it has been handling the crisis. Relatives of Chinese passengers from the missing flight have especially been critical about it. Earlier in May, family members asked Australia, China and Malaysia to review the data and check how accurate it was. The relatives wrote a letter to the leaders of those countries, saying that the data did not "support a definitive conclusion that no other flight path was possible".
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