Lessons learnt from MH370

LETTER: When I heard about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 going missing on March 8, 2014, I called my friends working in MAS. They were either at home or on a different fleet.

I could not imagine the pain the families of the crew members and passengers went through, and still have to endure.

Ten years have passed. We have learnt many lessons from this incident, especially in crisis management.

The nature of the event required coordination from departments, agencies, private sector and experts, including foreign counterparts.

In aviation crisis management, every moment is crucial. Each second will make a huge difference if the plane is still flying.

So making a swift and right decision is paramount. Top-notch coordination will result in good initial response and situation management.

The media team must provide consistent answers, provide facts, appear with empathy and stop rumours.

The incident took place in a foreign land. So keeping our foreign friends close is essential simply because we do not know when we will need their help.

In times of crisis, our foreign counterparts can provide us with the expertise and equipment that we need.

We, too, need to venture into new technologies that will assist in better decision making for the crisis management team.

In addition, upgrading technologies will increase security and safety for our aviation sector.

Better security screening systems, radars and tracking systems will allow the authorities to respond quickly.

New technologies are not cheap, but no amount of money can replace human life.

Every crisis comes with a package of challenges.

We need to think about how much we need to plan for an extraordinary situation.

The answer might be to continue having crisis management exercises and provide training at all levels. An annual national-level exercise would be a good move.

The more exercises for the crisis management team, the better it will be.

It has been said that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. So exercises and preparations will reveal gaps, vulnerabilities, loopholes and improve crisis management procedures.

May our thoughts and prayers be with the crew and passengers of MH370 forever.


Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security (MiDAS), Kuala Lumpur

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories