Search for Malaysian Airline Boeing 777 ‘MH370’ that disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014 carrying 239 people onboard will come to an end in June 2018; four years after the aircraft vanished said Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.
“No find no fee” contract was signed by Malaysian government with Texas based exploration company Ocean Infinity to find the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft within 90 days. During the fourth annual remembrance of the missing flight in Kuala Lumpur event Rahman told the press that the hunt for the missing plane however set to spread out over a few months, until mid-June as Seabed Constructor vessel searching the ocean floor has to refuel in Australian shores and bad weather were also affecting the process.
The contract with Ocean Infinity was signed on January 10, 2018, and the search for MH370 began on January 21, 2018 – approximately one year later after official government search for the wreckage ended without finding the crash site and if successful the American company which is focusing on 25,000 sq. km area – will be paid based on the size of the ocean floor searched. Malaysia said it will pay Ocean Infinity $20 million for 5,000 sq. km of a successful search, $30 million for 15,000 sq. km, $50 million for 25,000 sq. km and $70 million if the plane or flight recorders are found beyond the identified area.
Although Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said that there is an 85% chance of finding debris in the search area which is being covered by the U.S. Company, no significant findings were identified till late February of 2018, at around 8,200 sq. km area searched by the company.
The incident has become the greatest mystery in modern aviation and has become most expensive search mission in the history. Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) said that the transmission with the aircraft were lost 38 minutes into the flight, but the plane continued flying for another seven hours making it extremely difficult to determine the site of the crash.
According to aviation journalist Christine Negroni, Malaysia Airlines’ long-haul fleet only transmitted ground-to-aircraft location information once every half hour around the time of the tragedy. Now Malaysia Airlines planes transmit its information every five minutes and international requirements state that by January 2021 all new planes will have to broadcast their location every minute if the aircraft is in distress.