The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has announced its contract with Furgo for the deployment of a specialist vessel, the Furgo Equator. The advanced survey vessel will join the search efforts together with special equipment and expertise. Furgo Equator is equipped with multibeam echosounder and it will conduct a bathymetric survey of the search area. The data obtained underwater will be used for the production of offshore Western Australia's seabed. Those maps will be used in planning the following stages of the missing aircraft search.
Currently, an international search strategy working team is establishing precise search area. The final definition will be ready within several weeks. It is based on the “seventh handshake” arc, the place where the Inmarsat satellite lost contact with MH370. The search zone is expected to cover up to 60 thousand sq km.
The search will start in August and depending on the weather conditions is expected to take up to one year. The depth of the water is between 1 and 6 km.
Most of the money in the search (expected to be the most expensive in the aviation history) are being contributed by Australia. The government has already reserved A$90 million but the expenses might increase. The amount of A$9.3 million has been spent so far by Malaysia in fuel, equipment, personnel and food.
Flight MH370 has disappeared mysteriously with 239 passengers while en route to Beijing more than 3 months ago.