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Crash of Malaysian airliner prompts special ICAO meeting on global flight tracking

MONTREAL - The UN agency that governs civil aviation is meeting today to deal with the global tracking of airline flights.

The International Civil Aviation Organization called the special meeting in the aftermath of the crash of a Malaysian airliner in March.

ICAO says recent events such as the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 reinforce the need for a system to track airline flights.

It stresses in a news release the meeting must come up with recommendations ahead of a news conference scheduled for Tuesday.

In a background paper, ICAO says the disappearance of the Malaysian airliner and the crash of Air France flight AF 447 in 2009 have again focused attention on the need to improve global flight tracking.

The Paris-Rio de Janeiro Air France flight crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people aboard the Airbus.

ICAO council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu admits the unprecedented and unusual circumstances of flight MH 370 have been particularly difficult for civil aviation officials to resolve.

He also adds that the lack of definitive answers has been much harder for the victims' families to come to terms with.

ICAO and the International Air Transport Association are looking at better airline flight tracking and both global organizations hope to collaborate in the short term on voluntary actions.

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