Aviation group wants more airplane GPS tracking

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is planning to call for more GPS tracking of large commercial airlines in the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, officials from the group said Monday. 

Officials have been searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight since March 8, to no avail thus far. 

IATA’s CEO Tony Tyler said at the group’s 70th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Doha, Qatar, that the disappearance of the Malaysia Air’s Flight 370 pointed to the need for greater tracking of international flights. 

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“The loss of MH370 points us to an immediate need. A large commercial airliner going missing without a trace for so long is unprecedented in modern aviation. It must not happen again,” Tyler said. “IATA, [the International Civil Aviation Organization] and experts from around the world are working together to identify the best recommendations for improved global tracking. By September, we will deliver draft options to ICAO.” 

Malaysia Air Flight 370 was last detected by air traffic controllers about an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8. 

The plane, which was a Boeing 777 jetliner, was carrying 239 passengers and crew members at the time of its disappearance. 

Officials from multiple countries, including in the U.S., have been searching for the plane for nearly three months with little to show for their efforts. 

The prolonged search focused first on the Gulf of Thailand, and later on, the southern Indian Ocean. 

Satellite images of potential debris in the water that officials believed could have been related to the missing plane raised officials' hopes in late April of finding the aircraft's remnants, but officials have come up empty thus far in all their attempts of locating the missing plane. 

Malaysian officials pronounced that the plane likely crashed in the water and declared all its passengers and crewmembers could not have survived in April. 

The disappearance of the plane has baffled aviation officials and lawmakers in Washington.