Amateur Radio Played Role in Missing Airliner Response
Following the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian Airline Boeing 777-200ER jetliner with 239 passengers aboard, the airline’s Emergency Management Centre (EMC) at Kuala Lumpur Airport provided hotel accommodations for next of kin. The Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS) President, Mohd Aris Bernawi, 9M2IR, said his organization was asked to provide a link between the airport and the hotel.
MARTS quickly set up a station, led by Zanirul Akhmal Zanirun, 9M2PRO, with Azizi Samsuri, 9W2ZZE, as the airline’s team leader. The Negeri Sembilan Amateur Radio Club (NESRAC) provided volunteers for the station at the EMC. MARTS set up a cross-band VHF/UHF link to avoid any unnecessary interference to and from public service communications, and an HF link was added later. During the callout 11 Amateur Radio volunteers were at the EMC and 23 volunteers at the hotel.
9M2IR, who oversaw the entire process, said MARTS — an IARU member-society — was pleased to be able provide the communication link as the search for flight MH370 continues. — Thanks to Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee