Civil Aviation Authority chairman resigns upon revelation of MH370 report

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 31): Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM) chairman Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman has tendered his resignation to the Ministry of Transport today with immediate effect after the revelation of the MH370 report yesterday.

In a press conference at Parliament lobby today, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced Azharuddin's resignation and said he has instructed the Ministry's secretary general to establish a special committee to study the reports and make recommendations to the ministry on further actions to be taken.

"After the release of the report yesterday, then Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director general, who is today's CAAM Chairman, has tendered his resignation, with immediate effect. Based on the report we knew that there are air traffic controllers (ATCs) who did not follow the standard operating procedures (SOP), some of them have retired, some are currently serving in CAAM, the special committee will look into it, and see what are the further actions [that should] be taken against them," he said.

Loke said the formation of the committee is ongoing now, but he declined to reveal the committee members.

He also declined to reveal the number of ATCs involved in not following SOP during the disappearance of the Boeing 777 aircraft in March 2014.

Yesterday, the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370 has released the MH370 Safety Investigation Report outlining factual information, analysis, conclusion and safety recommendations based on their findings.

In a statement today, CAAM said while the report does not suggest that the incident is caused by the DCA then, there are some very apparent findings with regards to the operations of the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre (KLATSC), where it was stated the ATC did not comply with certain SOP.

"Therefore, it is with regret and after much thought and contemplation that I have decided to resign as the Chairman of CAAM effective 14 days from the date of the resignation notice which I have served today," Azharuddin said in the statement.

"Over the past four years, I have tried my level best to assist in the search for MH370, and I am ever resolute in finding answers we all seek towards this unfortunate tragedy as we owe it to the families and loved ones. I am saddened to have to leave under these circumstances.

"Serving the industry for more than 40 years has been the greatest honour of my life and I apologise for not being able to fulfil the remainder of my tenure. Aviation has been a core part of my life since childhood and it will remain so for the rest of my life," he added.