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Operational Update

At the request of the Malaysian Government, Australia has accepted responsibility for the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is leading the underwater search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

Joint Agency Coordination Centre 
MH370 Operational Search Update

21 September 2016

This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.

Key developments this week

  • Fugro Equator is in the search area and conducting search operations.
  • Dong Hai Jiu 101 is at anchor off Fremantle awaiting the onset of better weather in the search area when it will recommence search operations.

Underwater search operations

More than 110,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.

At a meeting of Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China held on 22 July 2016, it was agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the 120,000 square kilometre search area.

It is expected that searching the entire 120,000 square kilometre search area will be completed by around December 2016.

Ministers went to great lengths to explain that this does not mean the termination of the search. Should credible new information emerge that can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given to determining next steps.

2015_Indicative Search Area _Australia Overview _A4
Click image to enlarge

Tanzanian wing flap confirmed as from MH370

Last week the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released its report into the aircraft wing part found on Pemba Island off the coast of Tanzania.

Examination revealed the presence of unique identifying numbers relating to the part’s construction which allowed it to be determined as definitely coming from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. This is the second piece of debris – after the flaperon – to be conclusively linked to the aircraft.

While the debris affirms the focus of search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean, it does not, however, provide information that can be used to determine a specific location of the aircraft.

Debris Report 3 is available from AE-2014-054.


Weather conditions should allow search operations to continue.





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MH370 Operational Search Updates

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Last update 21 September 2016