Civil Aviation Head Quits over MH370

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Transport Ministry mulls action against duty air traffic controllers in MH370 disappearance.

Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abd Rahman has resigned as Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) chairman.

In a statement on Tuesday (July 31), Azharuddin said he decided to resign “after much thought and contemplation”.

He said the resignation would be effective fourteen days from the date of the resignation notice, which is Tuesday (July 31).

The announcement comes a day after the release of the MH370 safety investigation report.

“While the Report does not suggest that the accident is caused by the Department of Civil Aviation then, nevertheless, there were some very apparent findings with regards to the operations of the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre, where it was stated that the Air Traffic Controller did not comply with certain standard operating procedures,” he said.

He said he had tried his “level best” to assist in the search for the missing MH370 for the past four years and is “resolute” to find the answers for its disappearance.

“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,” he said.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke later confirmed that he had received notice of Azharuddin’s resignation.

He said Azharuddin is the first person to quit as acceptance of the missing plane as well as all its passengers and crew.

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“The report was just released yesterday, so he is the first person,” Loke said.

He added that his ministry will be looking into whether or not to take further action against Azharuddin and the controllers from the Department of Civil Aviation – as the agency was known then – when MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014.

Related report: Jul 31, Report: MH370 “Steered Off Course Deliberately”