Australia to help examine aircraft wreckage from La Réunion

Media Release


05 August 2015

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has confirmed that Australia—at the invitation of the French judiciary—has sent an expert from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to Toulouse, France, to take part in the examination of the B777 flaperon found on La Réunion.

“An investigator from the ATSB will join the French and Malaysian-led international investigation team today to examine aircraft wreckage found on La Réunion,” Mr Truss said.

“Malaysian authorities, who are responsible for investigating the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, have determined that the aircraft component retrieved from La Réunion is a flaperon from a B777 aircraft.

“Work is being undertaken by the Malaysian and French authorities to establish whether the flaperon originated from MH370.

“Malaysian and French officials may be in a position to make a formal statement about the origin of the flaperon later this week.

“In the meantime, I am advised that Australia's CSIRO drift modelling, commissioned by the ATSB, confirms that material from the current search area could have been carried to La Réunion, as well as other locations, as part of a progressive dispersal of floating debris through the action of ocean currents and wind.

“For this reason, thorough and methodical search efforts will continue to be focused on the defined underwater search area, covering 120,000 square kilometres, in the southern Indian Ocean.”

A Fact Sheet on the CSIRO drift modelling is attached and also available online at: