Experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) arrived in the Ukraine over the weekend to begin assisting with the official accident investigation into the July 17 loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
The ICAO experts are in the Ukraine to provide guidance on relevant aspects of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and Annex 13 to the Convention (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) which apply under these circumstances, to assist with fact finding, and to ensure that all evidence is thoroughly considered as the investigation seeks to determine how the aircraft and its 298 passengers and crew were lost.
“ICAO’s accident investigation experts are in the Ukraine to respond to a call for assistance from the state’s National Bureau of Incidents and Accidents Investigation of Civil Aircraft,” Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO council president, said. “Their work relates to Annex 13 investigations, the objective of which is to determine the causes of an accident and to make recommendations that will help prevent future accidents. This is a painstaking process and the collaboration of all concerned with the international team of investigators, notably where access to all evidence and data is concerned, will be greatly appreciated.”
Tony Tyler, director general and CEO at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the investigation into the crash must begin quickly.
“The tragedy of MH17 is an outrage. Over the weekend, it was confirmed that the passengers and crew aboard the aircraft were the victims of a hideous crime. It was also an attack against the air transport system, which is an instrument of peace,” Tyler said. “The investigation must also start quickly and with total freedom and access. Actions over the weekend which slowed down progress on both of these priorities were an outrage to human decency. We have heard news of potential progress on both these issues. But promises now need to be turned into reality with actions.”
Aliu of ICAO encouraged all applicable ICAO member countries to address the needs of victims’ families with necessary services and information, as per ICAO’s policy guidance.
“This was a terrible crime,” Tyler said. “But flying remains safe. And everyone involved in global air transport is fully dedicated to making it even safer.”