Malaysian Flight Puts Spotlight on Technology

Malaysian Flight Puts Spotlight on Technology

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 missing 11 days ago you’d be hard pressed to find a flyer that could ever imagine such a thing could happen with modern-day technology. After September 11th protections in airline safety were limited to security; very little was done in way of technology to better prepare crew for such risks. This week the spotlight has focused on technology aboard Malaysian Flight 370 to learn its fate.

Until this mystery surfaced, the idea that a plane could just disappear in mid-air would be an idea labeled as conspiracy theory propaganda. The general public is now learning just how antiquated the current system really is. It is not that the technology doesn’t exist, it is just the resistance of the aviation industry in putting the technology to use. Part of that resistance comes from the politics of business, in particular in aviation. Business and politics go hand in hand which is why we rely so heavily on Ambassadors and Diplomats all over the world to create a seamless transition in every day operations. However as we see with this mysterious flight, once the government gets involved it is a much more complicated task.

For centuries governments have been tight-lipped on advancements in technology. In recent years the aviation industry has been more apt to spotlight the areas of technology that could benefit the international community without risking the loss of government secrets worldwide. But with Malaysian Airlines flight 370’s sudden and mysterious disappearance, a door seems to be closing globally on what information technology is used to track aircraft. The information isn’t being kept from the general public, but it seems the governments want to shut out other political foes in the ensuing investigation.

Trending are experts that express difficulty in understanding why a standard information system is not adopted by airlines worldwide. Still utilizing 1960’s technology, we depend on finding the notorious “black box” in determining the cause of a crash instead of incorporating an air to ground recording technology that some experts believe could prevent a crash. Or in the instant of flight 370, find a missing jet liner. In recent months airlines have begun allowing passengers to start utilizing the WiFi abilities on their hand-held devises once a cruising altitude has been reached. This has caused a backlash from opponents of this new rule who had been fighting to keep that technology off of commercial flights. Opponents argue that a passenger could hack into the control systems of a commercial aircraft causing the plane to divert course and possibly be used as a weapon. Ultimately the decision was made that such technology is not available and the risks are a minimum.

Everyday new information is leaked about the tracking of flight 370 and hours later most breaking news details are debunked by experts worldwide. Mainly because a government official somewhere has already ruled out the theory within their own investigation. And in many cases we learn that the on board technology is not sophisticated enough to achieve many of the details that have been reported. A more collective investigation would certainly limit the misinformation that seems to be the source of viral conspiracy theories world-wide. A lack of communication from the Malaysian government has sparked the flames of controversy that continue to grow. The growing speculation has led to anger and a lack of trust in the entire investigation. Flight 370 has thrown a spotlight on the countless opportunities for destruction through technology in the hands of those who want to wreak havoc.

Opinion by Kimberly Beller

Sources:
Popular Mechanics 
Alpa Issue Analysis 
Politico

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