MH370 Operational Search Update—
26 October 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 Equator berthed at AMC Henderson on Friday 21 October, and commenced re-mobilisation of the Hugin 4500 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) search system for its deployment in the search. The vessel departed the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson on 24 October, proceeding to the calibration range to test the performance of the AUV.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 departed Fremantle on Thursday 20 October and, after conducting trials of the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), proceeded to the search area. The vessel arrived in the search area on Monday 24 October and commenced search operations.
Underwater Search Operations
More than 110,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
At a meeting of Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People's Republic of China held on 22 July 2016, it was agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the 120,000 square kilometre search area.
Due to poor weather conditions over the Southern hemisphere winter, it is expected searching the entire 120,000 square kilometre search area will be completed by around January/February 2017.
Ministers went to great lengths to explain this does not mean the termination of the search. Should credible new information emerge that can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given to determining next steps.
[Click map to view larger image]
Weather conditions are predicted to be marginal changing to poor later in the week. These conditions may impact the progress of the search operations as the ROV requires frequent launching and recovery—operations which call for suitable conditions.