Its been four years since the MH370 flight disappeared from radar screens, and now Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, has decreed the search for the missing Boeing 777 carrying 239 people on board will end June, 2018. reports Julian Bray Aviation Expert.
The aircraft disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014.
The Malaysian government signed a “no find, no fee” conditional search contract with a Texas based exploration company Ocean Infinity.
The mission initially was to find the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft within 90 days. However, the hunt for the missing plane was extended in time to cover a period until mid-june 2018. Rahman was addressing local media during an event held in Kuala Lumpur to mark the fourth annual remembrance of the missing flight, in Kuala Lumpur.
Ocean Infinity's Seabed Constructor vessel searching the ocean bed periodically refuels in Australia, and bouts of inclement bad weather, have all contributed to delays in progressing the search, and led to calls for an extension of the initial search term, according to Rahman.
The Ocean Infinity agreement was signed on January 10, 2018, and the search for MH370 began on January 21, 2018 – approximately a full year later after the official government search for the wreckage ended without finding the crash site.
If successful, Ocean Infinity - that is focusing on 25,000km2 area - will be remunerated with a fee based on the size of the ocean floor searched. Malaysia says it will pay Ocean Infinity $20 million for 5,000km2 of a successful search, $30 million for 15,000km2, $50 million for 25,000km2 and $70 million if the plane or flight recorders are found beyond the identified area, according to a CTV News report.
Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, suggested there is a 85percent chance of finding debris in the search area by the U.S. company.
According to Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) reports the data transmissions were lost 38 minutes into the flight, but the plane continued flying for at least seven hours making it extremely difficult to determine the site of the crash.
Malaysia Airlines planes now transmit their positional information every five minutes and this is set to further improve as under new international conventions by January 2021, when all new aircraft must broadcast their location every 60 seconds, if the aircraft is in distress or other emergency declared.
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