Search for missing flight MH370 continues using most advanced sonar

World Today

Australian and Malaysian officials met for two days of discussions in Kuala Lumpur to set procedures for potential recovery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that disappeared en route to Beijing on March 8. Australian officials said they are currently using the best sonar technology available to search for the aircraft. Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Search for missing flight MH370 continues using most advanced sonar

Australian and Malaysian officials met for two days of discussions in Kuala Lumpur to set procedures for potential recovery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that disappeared en route to Beijing on March 8. Australian officials said they are currently using the best sonar technology available to search for the aircraft. Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Officials from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre and Australia’s National Transport Safety Bureau said this week it has deployed two ships that are painstakingly scanning the seabed using the world’s most sophisticated sonar equipment. The scanners can operate up to depths of six kilometers, or more than 3.7 miles, and scan a swathe of two kilometers, more than 1.2 miles, to send high-quality images back to the surface in real time.

“Now that we’ve actually started looking with the side-scan sonar and the synthetic aperture sonar, we could find the debris field any day,” said Peter Foley of the Transport Safety Bureau. “But [it’s likely], given the size of the area, that we are in for the long haul. It will take many months.”

Officials addressed skepticism about the decision to focus the search on a particular remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.

“The team of experts are actually the world leaders in this regard,” said Judith Zielke of Joint Agency Coordination Centre. “The best people in the world have actually put their efforts into defining the search area, using the small amount of data available in this particular case.”

The search remains a multinational effort. Both Malaysia and China still have personnel stationed with the Joint Agency Coordination Centre to assist in search efforts. In all, there are more than 180 people around the world involved in the search.

“We have an exceptional team,” Foley said. “We have exceptional expertise from around the world working on the team. And we have an exceptional will to continue until such time as we find this aircraft.”