No public details on crashed Lion Air voice recorder until final report

Lion Air has faced scrutiny over its maintenance and training standards since the crash. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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No public details on crashed Lion Air voice recorder until final report

  • The contents of the jet’s second black box could provide a detailed account of the last actions of the pilots
  • The Oct. 29 crash, which killed all those on board, was the world’s first of a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities do not plan to provide a public update on the contents of a cockpit voice recorder from a Lion Air jet that crashed, killing 189 people, until a final report is released in August or September, an official said on Tuesday.
The Oct. 29 crash, which killed all those on board, was the world’s first of a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018.
The contents of the jet’s second black box, which were recovered from the Java Sea north of the capital, Jakarta, on Jan. 14, could provide a detailed account of the last actions of the pilots.
The recording needs to be filtered first due to “background sounds” hindering the transcription, said Soerjanto Tjahjono, the chief of the transportation safety committee (KNKT).
“It might take one or two weeks because it was noisy inside (the cockpit),” he told Reuters. The transcription would not be made public until KNKT’s final report is released “between August to September,” he said.
Under international rules, a final crash report is due within 12 months if that is possible.
Contact with flight JT610 was lost 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta, heading north to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.
The preliminary report released by KNKT in November focused on airline maintenance and training, as well as the response of a Boeing anti-stall system and a recently replaced sensor, but did not give a cause for the crash.
Lion Air has faced scrutiny over its maintenance and training standards since the crash. Relatives of victims have filed at least three lawsuits against Boeing.


Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan raises hopes for trade boost

Updated 17 February 2019
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Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan raises hopes for trade boost

  • Experts say the strong strategic and defense relationship needs to be extended to trade cooperation

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan must be utilized to open new avenues of cooperation between the staunch allies, Pakistani analysts said.

Mohammed bin Salman is expected to bring with him a record investment package, including a $10 billion refinery and oil complex in the deepwater Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

Former Pakistani diplomat Javed Hafeez said bilateral relations have so far mostly revolved around defense and strategic cooperation, but there is a need to “diversify” and focus on trade and economic cooperation.

“Trade between both Islamic countries is minimal, and this needs to be enhanced to the fullest,” Hafeez told Arab News. 

There is huge potential for Pakistan to increase its exports of food items, garments, medicines and sports goods to the Kingdom, he said.

“The crown prince’s visit is good news for Pakistan, as this shows Saudi Arabia’s close association and love for our people,” Hafeez added. 

The crown prince has emerged as “one of the most influential figures in the Muslim world,” and his visit to Pakistan will “definitely open new avenues of cooperation between both countries,” Hafeez said. 

Last year, Saudi Arabia agreed to give Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year, and a further loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports to help stave off a current account crisis. Pakistan has so far received $3 billion in cash.

Rasul Bukhsh Rais, professor of political science, said the crown prince’s visit is a “welcome move at a time when Pakistan is struggling to improve its image as a peaceful country in the international community.”

Rais added that Islamabad should include Saudi Arabia as a third partner in the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which aims to turn Pakistan into a major route linking western China to the world.

“Saudi Arabia can easily connect to China and Central Asian states by using Pakistan’s strategic location in the region,” he said. “Wider economic cooperation between these countries will help the whole region prosper.”

International affairs analyst Zafar Nawaz Jaspal said the crown prince’s visit will help expand bilateral relations and accelerate much-needed trade and economic cooperation.

“The crown prince’s visit … will help materialize numerous investment projects in Pakistan,” Jaspal added. “In today’s world, mutual economic association and bilateral trade … are considered to be a yardstick to determine the depth of the (Saudi-Pakistani) relationship.”