The head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has resigned in the wake of the latest report on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 passengers and crew disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
CAA chairman Azharuddin Abdul Rahman announced he will leave the agency in 14 days. A report released this week by a multinational investigation team highlighted lapses in communication and coordination between air traffic controllers in Malaysia and Vietnam. The report concluded that these shortcomings delayed alerting and search and rescue operations.
Rahman said that while the report does not suggest the crash was caused by Malaysian aviation officials, “nevertheless, there are very apparent findings with regard to the operations of the Kuala Lumpur air traffic control center.” The report “stated that the air traffic controller[s] did not comply with certain standard operating procedures,” Rahman said.
“Therefore, it is with regret and after much thought and contemplation that I have decided to resign” as chairman, Rahman said. He stressed that he “tried my level best to assist in the search for MH370” over the last four years. “I am saddened to have to leave under these circumstances.”
The investigation team was appointed by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport. In response to the report, the ministry said it will review the recommendations and take “appropriate improvement measures” to prevent similar incidents. “At the same time, we will also conduct [a] thorough investigation and take action against any misconduct committed based on the findings under the existing provisions of the law,” the ministry said.