MH370 search will not be expanded further

2015-06-03 14:05
RAAF Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams looks out from the cockpit of a AP-3C Orion during a search mission for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean. (Paul Kane, AFP)

RAAF Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams looks out from the cockpit of a AP-3C Orion during a search mission for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean. (Paul Kane, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will not be expanded beyond its current search area unless there are specific new leads, Australian officials said Wednesday.

In April, more than a year after the plane vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 mostly Chinese people on board, Malaysia, Australia and China announced that the search zone would double in size.

This boosted the area of the remote southern Indian Ocean being scoured by three specialist vessels to 120 000 square km.

But it will not be expanded any further, the Australian-led Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said in an update.

"In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area," it said.

Winter to slow search down

The hunt for the aircraft, which disappeared on 8 March last year, has been a complex undertaking, with Australia initially concentrating on a remote 60 000 square km area of the ocean far off its west coast.

The zone was determined by analysing data from satellite signals which indicate the plane went down in the Indian Ocean after mysteriously diverting.

More than 50 000 square km of the seafloor have been scoured so far with no trace of the jet, JACC said, and with the onset of winter and poor weather the operation is slowing down.

The deep underwater search, using sonar equipment after the ocean floor was closely mapped last year, is currently suspended with waves reaching up to 12m, although ships remain on the scene.

It will continue once conditions improve but be scaled back with one of the vessels, GO Phoenix, ceasing operations and returning to Singapore near the end of June.

A fourth vessel previously involved in the search, Fugro Supporter, was withdrawn in May amid the worsening conditions.

"Safety of the search crews, as always, remains a priority and vessels and equipment utilised will vary to reflect operational needs, particularly during winter months," JACC said.

"Search operations will continue through the winter months, but pauses are anticipated."

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.