Search crews scouring the remote area of the Indian Ocean in which the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is believed to have crashed say they could have completed their work by May next year.
The priority zone, a 23,000 square smile arc off the coast of Western Australia, was drawn up using analysis of electronic “pings” – bursts of data transmitted by the missing aircraft and detected by satellites.
Flight MH370 was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished on 8 March this year with 239 people on board. No trace of the Boeing 777 or its passengers has been seen since, despite a £57m search operation.
Investigators from Australia’s Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (Jacc), who have been leading the search, say they have now covered two thirds of the priority zone. As long as there are no delays with the vessel, equipment or weather, they say, the search will be finished within the next five months.