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MH370 Mystery: Task Force Delays Aircraft Tracking Plans

An airline industry-led task force looking at ways to improve plane tracking after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370 has delayed its recommendations, possibly until December. A spokeswoman for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is leading the effort, said the draft proposals would not be delivered to the U.N.'s aviation body on Tuesday as previously expected.

The disappearance of the Malaysian airline in March sparked a global drive for a system that would make it possible to pinpoint the exact route and last location of an aircraft. "After an exhaustive internal review, it was determined that we needed more clarification on the recommendations and on guidance for implementation," IATA spokeswoman Mona Aubin said in an email.

Aubin did not say what clarifications were being sought. She said IATA now expects to bring the recommendations to its board by December at the latest. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in May called for the body to adopt real-time tracking of civilian aircraft and other measures. "In an age of smartphones and mobile Internet, real-timetracking of commercial airplanes is long overdue," he said in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

In May, members of the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) governing council agreed on the need for global tracking. IATA was to put together tracking proposals that its members would implement voluntarily before ICAO set industry standards, which can take several years.

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- Reuters