Local expert shares insight on missing AirAsia plane - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local expert shares insight on missing AirAsia plane

Dr. Carlos Juarez, HPU professor Dr. Carlos Juarez, HPU professor
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Although Indonesia is just over six thousand miles away from Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University's political science professor Dr. Carlos Juarez says the islands have very close ties to that area of the globe.

"Many have come primarily for education, University of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University, the East-West Center," said Dr. Juarez.

Dr. Juarez chairs the Social Sciences Department at HPU and is an expert in international relations. He says Indonesia specifically is one of the fastest growing air travel markets in the world.

"This country is one of the more dynamic countries in the region in terms of population, growth, in terms of the economic growth. So there's a lot more airplane trafficking than ever and this challenge will continue,” he said talking about missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

AirAsia said of the people on board the missing plane, 155 of the passengers are Indonesian, three are South Korean, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, one French and one British.

“These kind of incidents, they illustrate really the growing interdependence that no one country has the resources to try address this alone so they will work together and try to coordinate the response," Dr. Juarez said.

Up until now, AirAsia had a clean safety record. However, Indonesia's airline industry is notoriously unsafe with seven crashes in the last 20 years. The country has had a hard time recruiting qualified pilots and air traffic controllers.

AirAsia said among the passengers seventeen are children, including one infant.

According to the flight manifest, 23 people booked on the flight didn't show.

The United States Navy does have assets in the area on standby ready to assist in the search if needed. But they said they have not been requested at this time.

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