Home > News > Nation
Saturday August 23, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday August 23, 2014 MYT 11:13:41 AM
Silent tribute: Work at the busy KLIA air traffic control tower grinded to a halt at 10.55am, as officers observed a moment of silence for the victims of MH17.
KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time in its 16-year history, no planes flew and static ruled over the airwaves as KL International Airport (KLIA) fell silent at 10.55am in honour of those on board the downed MH17.
Just an hour earlier, the 12 senior air traffic controllers (ATCs) on duty at the country’s busiest airport had been frantically coordinating the multitude of incoming and outgoing flights during peak period.
However, every now and then, the ATCs would steal a look at the live television coverage of the reception for the remains of MH17 victims being played out. Yesterday was a particularly stressful time for the department.
In addition to having to close down a runway for the arrival of the special plane from Amsterdam, they managed flights at the airport and most importantly, ensured that everything went as planned on the country’s national day of mourning.
At 10.54am, a voice rang out on a walkie-talkie informing the ATCs of the start of the countdown for the minute’s silence and work in the office ground to a halt.
“Okay, ground them! Ground them! Everything stops,” barked an officer as others gathered at the building facing the Bunga Raya Complex where the remains of the victims were being loaded into the hearses.
The officers, their hands folded to the back and heads bowed, whispered their prayers as the voice counted down the seconds: “Moment of silence starts now.”
There was pin-drop silence on the 28th floor of the control tower as the 12 officers paid their respects. Outside, the KLIA runways came to a halt with planes forming a queue on the tarmac, waiting for the ATCs to come back to them over the radio.
Tags / Keywords:
MH17 crash, MAS, Ukraine
A seamless transition come Sept 1 for MAS?
MH17: Bones buried two-feet deep in crash site
First phase of French investigation on flaperon completed
MH370: Malaysia, China and Australia to refine search efforts
Search for MH370 fragments in Reunion ends on Monday
Thai police hunt two bombing suspects after weekend raids
Merkel expects Greece to meet commitments for bailout package
Guardsman killed in protests as Ukraine MPs back more autonomy for rebel regions
Slovaks, Czechs eye common central Europe stance on migrants, reject quotas
Myanmar's president signs off on law seen as targeting Muslims
Five unusual ways to build endurance for a marathon
Chua: Treasury to look into the matter following appeals
Face the music
Malaysian divers face China hurdle in Asian Cup meet
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)