MH370 search area further narrowed as Malaysia continues to engage Chinese families: Minister
Published on Mar 28, 2014 5:44 PM
Search area for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been further narrowed , Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Friday.
Further study of satellite data showed MH370 flew faster than previously thought and used more fuel, he said at a daily press briefing.
The new search area is still consistent with objects sighted by satellites earlier due to ocean drift, he said.
He added, however, that despite being closer to land and easier conditions, the search is still challenging.
The new search area is 1,680 km west of Perth, and is being led by Australia, Mr Hishammuddin told reporters.
Aircraft maker Boeing has not provided any funding for investigation but is in full cooperation with the teams, he said.
Malaysia understands that emotions are running high in Beijing over the missing plane, but it will continue briefings to the relatives of Chinese passengers on board the flight, Mr Hishammuddin added.
A high-level team from Malaysia is in Beijing to talk to families and will continue to engage them, he said.
On the issue of insurance claims, MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said family members have requested for evidence of the missing aircraft first.
MAS is talking to "various legal parties" and families on the issue, he added.
Mr Hishammuddin also told reporters that the Attorney-General office has been tasked to look into all legal-related issues.
Australia reported earlier on Friday that the search for flight MH370 was shifted to an area 1,100 km north of where an international team of planes and ships have been searching for more than a week, after it received new radar information.
Ten aircraft from six countries - Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States - were involved in Friday's search. Five Chinese ships and an Australian naval vessel also joined in.
The new search area is larger, but closer to the Australian west coast city of Perth, allowing aircraft to spend longer on site by shortening travel times. It is also vastly more favourable in terms of the weather as it is out of the deep sea region known as the Roaring 40s for its huge seas and frequent storm-force winds, reports said.
"I'm not sure that we'll get perfect weather out there, but it's likely to be better more often than what we've seen in the past," said Mr John Young, general manager of the emergency response division of Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Friday.
The previous search site was being abandoned, he added.