Follow-up of the MH17 Passenger information recommendations

The Dutch Government has taken various actions as a result of the three recommendations in the MH17 Passenger information report to ensure that passenger information is made available more quickly and that next of kin are better informed. The Dutch Safety Board is positive about the efforts and proposals, however, it still has to be proven whether these will actually lead to specific improvements in practice. The Dutch Safety Board is of the opinion that the recommendations are being adequately followed up.

The Dutch Government has taken various actions as a result of the three recommendations in the MH17 Passenger information report to ensure that passenger information is made available more quickly and that next of kin are better informed. The Dutch Safety Board is positive about the efforts and proposals, however, it still has to be proven whether these will actually lead to specific improvements in practice. The Dutch Safety Board is of the opinion that the recommendations are being adequately followed up.

The final MH17 Passenger information report revealed that the Dutch victims' next of kin had to needlessly wait for a long time for official confirmation from the government about the fate of their relatives. The information gathered by different organisations about the victims and their next of kin was not combined, resulting in it taking too long before a clear and complete list was available. The Dutch authorities lacked management and coordination in gathering the information.

To improve and speed up the process of informing the next of kin, the Board made three recommendations to central government related to registering records on nationality, improving the process of informing next of kin and simplifying crisis organisation in the Netherlands. In a joint letter the Minister of Security and Justice, the Minister of  Foreign Affairs and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, and the State Secretary of Infrastructure and the Environment responded to the report and to the recommendations. It reveals that the Dutch Government has now taken various actions to ensure passenger information is registered more effectively and is more accessible in the event of an emergency, at the national and international levels. Central government is also busy drafting a civil aviation accident emergency plan at national level to be better prepared in the event of a crash at home or abroad. With regard to simplifying crisis organisation in the Netherlands the ministers indicate that the government is busy developing uniform national crisis plans.