Australia appoints contractor for MH370 search

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The Australian government has selected Fugro Survey to conduct the undersea search of the southern Indian Ocean that hopes to locate the missing aircraft that operated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre says in a statement that the company will use two vessels for the search, which will cover and area of 60,000km2. It is expected to take up to 12 months, and will be coordinated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

“The vessels will search the sea floor using side scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounders and video cameras to locate and identify the aircraft debris,” the JACC adds.

Fugro already has one ship, Fugro Equator, capturing bathymetry data in the search area that will be used in the search. A second vessel is now enroute from the UK to Perth to take part in the search.

As well as the Furgo vessels, Malaysia will provide four ships to support the search and conduct bathymetric survey tasks. China also has a ship in the search area completing a survey of the sea floor, which is expected to complete its work in mid-September.

Flight MH370 went missing with 239 passengers and crew on 8 March while operating a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with no trace of the Boeing 777-200ER having been found since. Investigators have relied on limited satellite data to conclude that the aircraft ended its flight somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.