KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28, 2015:
Following is the chronology of developments in 2015 on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that vanished on March 8, 2014, and MAS Flight MH17 that was shot down over Ukraine on July 17, 2014:
Jan 29 – Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman officially declares MH370 an accident in accordance with the Standards of Annexes 12 and 13 of the Chicago Convention and that all the 239 passengers and crew on board are presumed to have lost their lives.
June 18 – Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai says Malaysia will continue with the second phase of the search for MH370 with only two ships scouring a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean. The first phase was completed in the same month with the area of search covering more than 52,000 sq km.
July 29 – A beach cleaner at Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean finds a 2.7-metre-long wing flap or flaperon which experts believe is from a Boeing 777. The only Boeing aircraft reported lost in the Indian Ocean is Flight MH370.
Aug 6 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak confirms that the flaperon found on Reunion Island is from the missing MH370.
Sept 3 – French investigators affirm “with certainty” that the flaperon discovered on July 29 is from Flight MH370 based on a serial number that matched the records of the Spanish manufacturer that produced portions of the aircraft part.
Sept 5 – Malaysia announces it will confine the search area for the vanished Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean despite France’s confirmation that a flaperon found on Reunion Island is from the aircraft.
Sept 29 – Malaysia, China and Australia have reaffirmed at a tripartite meeting in Beijing that they are still very much committed to locating Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 aircraft.
Dec 9 – A third vessel, Havila Harmony, joins the search for the missing MH370 in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean, says the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC). It says more than 75,000 sq km of the sea floor have been searched so far.
Feb 18 – A United Nations Security Council draft resolution on the situation in Ukraine reaffirms the world body’s demand for accountability for those responsible for the downing of Flight MH17.
May 19 – The Dutch Safety Board international investigation team focuses on the analysis of uncorroborated facts provided by the media regarding procrastination in the MH17 plane crash investigation.
July 10 – Malaysia receives a report on the investigation into the Flight MH17 tragedy by the Dutch authorities. The government says it will need about 60 days to examine the report thoroughly before providing feedback to the Dutch authorities.
July 11 – Malaysia holds a commemoration ceremony for the first anniversary of the MH17 tragedy.
July 14 – Countries undertaking the independent criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, namely Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, ask the UN Security Council to establish an international criminal tribunal to try those responsible for crimes connected to the downing that occurred over Ukraine on 17 July 2014 and took 298 lives.
July 17 – In the Netherlands and other countries, relatives of MH17 victims participate in emotional memorials. Britain calls for an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible.
July 29 – Russia vetoes a UN Security Council resolution, drafted by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, that seeks to set up a tribunal.
Aug 24 – Liow says Malaysia has submitted feedback on the MH17 plane crash report to the Dutch investigation team.
Oct 13 – Malaysia receives the final report on the MH17 incident prepared by an independent committee set up to investigate the tragedy.
Oct 13 – The Dutch Safety Board, in the final report, confirms that MH17 was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile and the missile warhead detonated on the left side of the aircraft cockpit.
Nov 2 – Liow announces that until October this year, the government has spent US$53.81 million (RM231.5 million) in the operations to locate MH370 and US$2.99 million (RM12.9 million) with relation to the MH17 tragedy.
Nov 4 – A Foreign Ministry statement says Malaysia and Australia have reaffirmed their commitment to bring the perpetrators behind the shooting down of Flight MH17 to justice.
Nov 18 – Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican tells the Dewan Rakyat that negotiations on the setting up of a tribunal for Flight MH17 are being refined at the investigation team level.