The Search for MH370 Continues
23 July 2014
On Monday the Prime Minister appointed Air Chief Marshal Houston AC AFC (Ret'd) as his Special Envoy to lead Australia's efforts on the ground in Ukraine to help recover, identify and repatriate Australians killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on 8 March on a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, continues uninterrupted.
We remain fully committed to conducting a thorough undersea search of the likely impact zone in the Indian Ocean.
While Air Chief Marshal Houston leads our MH17 efforts in Ukraine, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) will continue to coordinate the Australian Government's search for MH370.
Australia owes it to the families of all of those on board MH370, the travelling public and indeed the wider world to solve this mystery.
Deputy Coordinator Judith Zielke will oversee the operations of the JACC, ensuring that the public and other stakeholders, particularly the families of those on board, are well informed about the progress of the search.
A bathymetric survey of the 60,000km2 search area is well underway, with two vessels, the Australian-contracted Fugro Equator and the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen, mapping the ocean floor. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is coordinating this work.
The bathymetric survey will give us crucial knowledge of the seafloor terrain to begin the actual underwater search. The ATSB is currently assessing tender documentation to engage a primary contractor to manage this complex operation.
The underwater search is likely to commence in early September and take up to 12 months to complete. It will aim to locate the aircraft and any evidence (such as debris and the flight recorders) to assist the Malaysian investigation of the disappearance of MH370.