Unwavering commitment: Hishammuddin speaking at the press conference. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: Military radar and satellite data from countries in the region will be requested again by the investigation team as the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 enters phase two.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the investigation team would review all the data received from all international agencies, including data given by Inmarsat.
“We want to look into the data again to better coordinate the search efforts in the South Indian Ocean,” he told reporters at a hotel here yesterday.
In reply to a question on the cost of the operation, he said they could only ascertain this once they knew where the plane was.
“The cost involved in searching for the plane is worth it in my opinion.
“Firstly, the ocean sea floor has never been charted in the history of mankind.”
He said the cost hinged on the technology used, adding that very little of such technology was available and it was “very specific”.
“We are looking at sonar technology to search the sea bed,” he said.
On the handling of the families of the passengers and crew on board, he said that was the toughest part of managing the incident.
“We will be looking at the possibility of a body of experts to oversee and reach out to the families,” he said, adding that Malaysia Airlines should keep to their promise of dispensing compensation to the families soon.
“Based on Inmarsat’s advice and what we have heard from the Australians, the Southern corridor is the best lead we have.
“Our second best lead is the ping signals and of the five pings, two have been covered fully and three more are being searched for under the new phase,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said there was a need to upgrade the country’s primary military radar.
“We already divulged our primary military radar data when the plane went missing and it was in the interest of national security to upgrade it soon,” he said, adding that it could only be done if the budget allowed.
On questions about the four-hour gap before any action was taken to find the missing plane, he said it took France seven hours before they responded to the Air France flight 447 crash.
“If our airforce had scrambled its jets, what would have happened? Would we shoot down our own passenger plane if we sent up the Sukhois?” Hishammuddin asked.
He said it was vital for the air force and civil aviation to work together in tracking planes.
“All over the world, civil aviation faces the same problem,” he said.