Australia: The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has awarded Fugro a contract that will see the deployment of its specialist vessel, equipment and expertise in the underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370).
Using its advanced survey vessel, the Fugro Equator, fitted with state-of-the art multibeam echosounder equipment, Fugro will conduct a bathymetric survey of the search area. The seabed data obtained will assist in the production of maps of the seabed offshore Western Australia. This area is relatively uncharted and the maps will assist in planning subsequent stages of the MH370 search. Fugro and ATSB expect the Fugro Equator to begin its operation by mid-June.
The decision is part of the next phase of the search, where the authorities have decided to handover the operations from the military to the private sector. The search is would take up to a year, covering some 60,000 sq km of ocean at a cost of USD56.16 million or more.