The search for the crashed Malaysian jet continued today even as Malaysia’s prime minister said his government will release its preliminary report on the plane’s disappearance next week.
Faced with anger and frustration from distraught families of passengers on the ill-fated Flight MH370, Malaysian Premier Najib Razak said the report will be available to the public.
“I have directed an internal investigation team of experts to look at the report, and there is a likelihood that next week we could release the report,” Najib told CNN late yesterday.
He said he had also asked the internal investigation team to look into what other information may be released publicly next week, his office said.
The report has already been sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN body for global aviation, but not made available to the public.
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The ICAO showed a safety recommendation in the report: Malaysia said the aviation world needs to look at real-time tracking of commercial aircraft. It is the same recommendation that was made after the 2009 Air France Flight 447 disaster.
Meanwhile, up to 8 military aircraft and 10 ships are assisting in today’s search for the missing jetliner.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has planned a visual search area totaling approximately 49,240 square kilometres for Friday. The centre of the search area lies approximately 1584 kilometres north west of Perth.
Bluefin-21 AUV is currently completing mission 13 in the underwater search area. The robotic mini-submarine has now completed approximately 95 per cent of the focused underwater search area but no contacts of interest have been found till now, said the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) which is leading the search for the lost plane.
The focused underwater search area is defined as a circle of 10 km radius around the second Towed Pinger Locator detection which occurred on 8 April.
Possible promising leads have turned out to be false alarms for weeks in the lengthy search for the Boeing 777-200 which disappeared mid-flight on March 8 with 239 people, including five Indians onboard. A major challenge that has complicated the search is floating garbage in the ocean.
Other objects spotted in the Indian Ocean earlier turned out to be trash, jellyfish and fishing gear.
Australia has indicated that the approach to the search might be revised with more powerful underwater vehicles if Bluefin’s search yields no results. It is mulling deploying a more powerful system that tracked the Titanic 29 years ago to locate the wreckage of the plane.