MH370 Operational Search Update—
23 December 2015
This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.
The Australian Government remains committed to the MH370 search. While search operations will continue uninterrupted over the Christmas/New Year period, there will be no MH370 Operational Search Update on Wednesday, 30 December 2015 or Wednesday, 6 January 2016.
Key developments this week
- Fugro Discovery continues to conduct search operations with deep tow equipment and is scheduled to depart the search area around 6 January 2016.
- Fugro Equator arrived in Fremantle for a scheduled resupply visit on 21 December. This extended visit will include scheduled engine maintenance operations, and the vessel is expected to depart for the search area around 29 December.
- Havila Harmony is conducting search operations using the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The AUV is currently surveying some of the most difficult portions of the search area that cannot be searched effectively using the deep tow sonar.
Underwater search operations
Weather continues to impact on search operations but the onset of summer is expected to bring more favourable conditions over the coming months. Search operations will continue throughout the Christmas / New Year period.
Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China earlier this year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. It is anticipated this will be completed around June 2016.
More than 80,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
In the event the aircraft is found and accessible, Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities, including securing all the evidence necessary for the accident investigation.
[Click map to view larger image]
The weather is currently favourable, and predicted to remain so over the coming days.