MH370 Operational Search Update—
30 March 2016
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.
Key developments this week
- Fugro Discovery continues to conduct underwater search operations. The vessel is expected to depart the search area on 1 April, returning to Fremantle for a scheduled resupply visit.
- Fugro Equator arrived at Fremantle on 23 March and departed the following day after completing resupply operations.
- Havila Harmony arrived at Fremantle on 26 March, to demobilise the Hugin 4500 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) system. The AUV will be stored in Perth for later use; it can be mobilised swiftly if necessary.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 is at Fremantle, awaiting the arrival of Phoenix International's Remora III remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The ROV will be deployed in the SLH-ProSAS-60 towfish recovery operations.
Analysis of debris from Mozambique
The examination and analysis on the debris discovered in Mozambique was carried out in Australia by international experts from the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370, the ATSB, the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia and Boeing. The experts were also assisted by specialists from Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University.
The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team has advised that:
- the dimensions, materials and construction of both parts conform to the specifications of a Boeing 777 aircraft;
- the paint and stencilling on both parts match those used by Malaysia Airlines; and
- as such, both parts are consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, and are almost certainly from MH370.
Underwater search operations
Weather may continue to impact on search operations but generally more favourable conditions are being experienced.
More than 95,000 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.
Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China in April last year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. It is anticipated this will be completed around the middle of the year. 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.
[Click map to view larger image]
Favourable weather conditions are forecast for the search area in the coming days.