MALAYSIA TO SET UP BLACK BOX LAB BY NEXT YEAR
RM5m facility will analyse civil and military flight data recorders locally
STARTING next year, the authorities will no longer have to send flight data recorders (FDRs), or black boxes, overseas for analysis.
This comes about as the Transport and Defence Ministries have embarked on a joint initiative to set up Malaysia’s very own black box laboratory.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said his ministry’s Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Defence Ministry’s Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (Stride) to develop the capability to read black boxes.
“This initiative will see AAIB and Stride officers being sent to either the United Kingdom or Australia, where Malaysia will get the assistance in terms of expertise in black box analysis.
“Once we have this capability, Malaysia will no longer need to send our black box overseas when there is a need for analysis,” he said after a ceremony in which the government signed 35 agreements at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition 2017 (Lima 2017) here yesterday.
The MoU between AAIB and Stride was one of the 35 agreements.
Aziz said the ministries were spending RM5 million to create the laboratory, adding that his ministry would be in charge of analysing data recorders from civilian aircraft, while military aircraft FDRs would be under Stride.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the move was prompted by the country’s experiences in air incidents.
He said while Malaysia mourned the tragedies of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and MH17, the country must also learn from experience.
The 35 agreements, worth more than RM3.82 billion, involved 11 contracts, 12 MoUs, seven letters of acceptance and five letters of intent.
The Defence Ministry alone inked RM3.71 billion worth of deals, including a RM1.71 billion deal with Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd for the acquisition of four littoral mission ships (LMS).
Other deals included a RM496.5 million contract with Seicom System Sdn Bhd for the procurement of its Earth Satellite System and infrastructure, and a RM371.7 million agreement with Aerospace Technology Systems Corp Sdn Bhd for a threeyear contract and ceiling amount extension for the supply of articles, performance of services and technical assistance provision for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
Hishammuddin said this year’s Lima saw a 81 per cent increase in agreements signed by the government for the Defence Ministry, as the total at Lima 2015 was RM2.04 billion.
“In today’s economic uncertainty and budget constraints, we still have the edge (in defence procurement), and this is what we need to strengthen further.
“I believe that when the economy becomes more resilient, we can do more.
“The most important thing is that all three stakeholders — the ministry, armed forces and defence industry — must work together to face the challenges.”
Hishammuddin added that the signing of the contract for the Royal Malaysian Navy’s four new LMS proved that the government was not giving empty promises.
Defence Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohd Radzi (second from left) exchanging documents with Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd chief executive Tan Sri Lodin Che Wok in Langkawi yesterday.
With them is Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (centre).