Australia plans to step up search efforts for the still missing Malaysian MH370 flight that crashed in March 2014. The search operation has yielded no results since then, but now Australia says its analyses showed they are looking in the right area.
Australia will double the number of vessels participating in the mission from two to four, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has said Thursday.
The country has been conducting an extensive, but, so far, unsuccessful search based on the jet’s likely trajectory after it diverted from its flight path on March 8, 2014. Ships have mostly focused on the seabed off Australia’s west coast, covering 75,000 square kilometers (29,000 square miles) of a 120,000 square kilometer target zone.
Now Truss has said that an area at the southern tip of that search area might be the right area.
Citing analyses of Inmarsat satellite communications data, he said: “It affirms that the aircraft is likely located somewhere in the 120,000 square kilometer area along the seventh arc.”
Truss stressed that the additional research was using a different methodology, but came to the same conclusions.
“That gives us real encouragement that every effort is being made to ensure the search is well focused and well targeted, and hopefully will therefore achieve someday a satisfactory result,” the deputy PM said, according to Asia One.
Assistant Minister for Defence Darren Chester has also told the media that there is “a high level of confidence that we are searching in the right area,” Reuters reported.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre has also gave encouraging prognoses, saying in a separate statement that “summer is expected to bring more favorable conditions over the coming months.”
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