SYDNEY, Australia – The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said on Sunday that the agency is working on analyzing existing data and information to refine a new search area for the missing Malaysian Airline flight MH370.
Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan said the new search area will be announced by ATSB on Wednesday, Xinhua reported. Dolan told local media earlier that the new search area would be hundreds of km south of where the first phase of underwater search had covered.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Bluefin-21 had searched some 850 square km of ocean floor in an area some 1,600 km off the coast of Western Australia. The area was defined on the basis of the four acoustic signals detected by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed on Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield.
Since Bluefin-21 had found neither the "black box" nor any debris of the aircraft after searching for more than 40 day, the Joint Agency of Coordination Center (JACC) for the search of the MH370 announced on May 29 that that area can be discounted as the final resting place of MH370, which disappeared on March 8 carrying 239 people.
The ATSB has also invited organizations to submit proposals to conduct the underwater search through a request for tender process. The underwater search is expected to begin in August and may take 12 months to finish.