Australian authorities on Thursday alerted Indonesia that the wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may wash up on its coastline.
Mr Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner at Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which led the search for the aircraft of the coast of Western Australia, stated this in Sydney while giving operational update on the issue.
It would be recalled that the bureau led the search for the aircraft off the coast of Western Australia.
The missing plane disappeared in March, 2014, with 239 people on board, and despite an extensive search, there has been no sign of any of its parts.
Dolan said that floating debris from the aircraft may have drifted west, away from Australia’s western coastline, towards Indonesia, adding that ATSB had informed Indonesian authorities about finding possible aircraft debris.
He said that some people in Australia had reported finding materials washed up on the country’s coastline, thinking it was the MH370, adding that “the ATSB reviews all of this correspondence carefully.”
“But, drift modeling undertaken by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has suggested that if there were any floating debris, it is far more likely to have traveled west, away from the coastline of Australia,” he said.
He disclosed that a new underwater search began in early in October and that so far, approximately 1,200 square kilometers of the ocean floor had been covered.
The ATSB commissioner stated that the search was focusing on a long, narrow arc in the southern Indian Ocean where MH370 made its last satellite communication.
“The updated, highest probability search area is 60,000 square km and it is expected to take vessels one year to cover,’’ he said.
He said that while there was no certainty, there was a “high probability” that the wreckage of the plane would be found in the new search area.
“There are a range of scenarios that would fit the data; it is just that some are more likely than others and there is a high probability that the aircraft will be found close to the ark,” he said.