Australians to focus fresh search for MH370 in narrow arc

The Australian government agency leading the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is confident of finding the missing aircraft, according to Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

Beginning in several months, the bureau is planning an intensified underwater search of a 60,000 square kilometre area in the southern Indian Ocean, reports the Chief Commissioner, Martin Dolan, on the ATSB website.

“The complexities surrounding the search cannot be understated. It involves vast areas of the Indian Ocean with only limited known data and aircraft flight information,” he writes in his blog.

All available data

“While it is impossible to determine with certainty where the aircraft may have entered the water, all the available data indicates a highly probable search area close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.”

The underwater search operations are being planned by the ATSB at the request of the Malaysian Government. They include:

  • Reviewing existing information, from an expert satellite working group, to refine a search zone
  • Conducting a bathymetric survey to map the search area
  • Consulting with domestic and international authorities to prepare the plan and the specialist services required.

“The search will be a major undertaking,” says the Chief Commissioner. “The complexities and challenges involved are immense, but not impossible.

“The best minds from around the world have been reviewing, refining and localising the most likely area where the aircraft entered the water, which is why we remain confident of finding the aircraft.”

ATSB website: MH370 section 
ATSF website: Chief Commissioner’s blog