Malaysia and Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday to cooperate in the search for the missing MH 370 fight of the Malaysia Airlines. The plane disappeared with 239 people on board while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March this year.
The MoU signed by Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai and Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss agrees to share the search costs of approximately $53 million, reported Cbc, Canada news.
The ministerial meeting held in Canberra, was also attended by Chinese Vice-Minister of Transport He Jianzhong, who said the ministers agreed that the search will not be given up or interrupted. There were 153 Chinese passengers on the flight.
Under the new scheme of things, Malaysia will be vested with the responsibility for crash investigation and Australia will manage the search and rescue responsibility in the Indian Ocean, in an area 1,800 kilometres off Australia's west coast.
The underwater search will be led by Dutch contractor Fugro Survey Pty. Ltd. It will start the operations in September. Three vessels will be towing the underwater vehicles equipped with sonar and multi-beam echo sounders to search the plane. The search, scouring some 60,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean seabed will take at least one year to conclude. Before the underwater search starts, two survey ships will undertake the mapping the entire search area.
The search area for the missing Malaysian airliner MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean will be suitably refined in accordance with the latest inputs and updates.
The Australian Deputy PM said, the analysis of a failed satellite phone call from Malaysia Airlines to Flight 370 suggested that the aircraft had turned south a little earlier than previously expected. But this will not make any change in the overall search area already earmarked, he said.
The analysis is that the cause of crash can be ascertained only after the wreckage and black boxes are recovered. The Malaysian Minister also said the undersea search for the wreckage of the aircraft was crucial in recovering the black box, cockpit voice recordings and flight data to solve the mystery behind the disaster.