SEPANG: Plane debris discovered on the island of Pemba off the coast of Tanzania is confirmed to be part of the missing MH370. This has been deduced after several numbers as well as its physical appearance and dimensions were found to match the ill-fated aircraft.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said both the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the MH370 Safety Investigation Team had determined that the numbers, appearance, dimensions and constructions matched that of an inboard section of a Boeing 777 outboard flap.
“A date stamp indicated that it was manufactured on Jan 23, 2002, and consistent with the May 31, 2002, delivery date for MH370.
“Besides the Boeing part number, all identification stamps have a second “OL” number which are unique identifiers relating to the part. The Italian part manufacturer has confirmed that all numbers located on the recovered debris relate to the same outboard flap shipped to Boeing and delivered to Malaysia Airlines,” he said here yesterday.
Experts from ATSB, said Liow, recently completed their examination of the debris discovered on June 20.
“The investigation team will look into other details now and study how the accident happened – whether it was a controlled or uncontrolled ditch – into the sea,” he said after welcoming AirAsia’s latest aircraft, an Airbus A320neo, at the Sepang Aircraft Engineering hangar here yesterday.
The ministry, said Liow, would continue to provide updates as and when new information became available.
“We wish to extend our appreciation to the authorities in Tanzania and Australia for their support and assistance,” he said.
MH370, a Beijing-bound flight carrying 239 people, disappeared on March 8, 2014. The search for the aircraft is ongoing in the southern Indian Ocean.
Earlier, Liow said Malaysia wanted to seek re-election into the the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), adding that it would submit its candidature during the 39th session in Montreal later this month.
“Malaysia was first elected to the council in 2007 and has taken on an active role. We have been reelected for the third consecutive term.
“I look forward to the participation of airlines, regulators and industry in ensuring that Malaysia continues to retain the seat, and collaboration to further enhance the aviation industry in the country,” he said.
On the Airbus A320neo, AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said it delivered 15% in fuel savings and with additional range capacity of 500 nautical miles, this would translate into low fares.