The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued a tender seeking recovery services in the event that the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that operated missing flight MH370 is found.
“While no wreckage from the missing aircraft has yet been found, preparations are being made so a recovery operation can be mobilised quickly and effectively when needed,” says Australia’s infrastructure minister Warren Truss.
He adds that responses to the expression of interest will allow the ATSB to assess which organisations are capable of undertaking such an operation. A preferred supplier will then be chosen jointly by the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments.
Three vessels are involved in the ongoing search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, with a fourth, Fugro Supporter to join the search shortly.
In an update issued on 21 January, the ATSB says that around 16,000km2 of the sea floor has been searched, representing about 26% of the priority search area.
The search has focused along the “7th arc” area, which the ATSB has calculated is the most likely place that the aircraft ended its flight, based on 777 performance and satellite data calculations.
MH370 disappeared 8 March 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.