MH370 Operational Search Update—
16 November 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 is continuing underwater search operations in the north of the search area using the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). During the past week, Fugro Equator has undertaken 5 missions, each one taking, on average, 21 hours.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 is continuing underwater search operations using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in the middle of the search area but operations have been affected by unsuitable weather conditions. Two contact reacquisitions have been undertaken during the past week with both being identified as geological features (pictures below):
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 forecast to be unsuitable for both AUV and ROV operations periodically during the week and are expected to impact the progress of the search operations to some extent.