Martin Dolan of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, who is leading the search in the southern Indian Ocean, is confident the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be found soon, according to Express News.
Despite the most expensive search in aviation history not a single trace of the aircraft, its contents or passengers have been found.
Dolan said: “Once we started looking and defining the search area, it became quite clear it could take up to two years. We still remain confident it will be found in the next year.”
He added that all the analysis they have puts the aircraft somewhere in a large search area. “We have no more information that would allow us to calculate a different area and governments accept that.”
Half of the 120,000 sq km area has been searched so far, with the next half due to be scoured over the next year, he said.
There have been numerous theories over the past year of where the plane could have possibly gone down, with various witnesses saying it could be in the Bay of Bengal after seeing a low-flying aircraft over the Maldives at the time of MH370′s disappearance.
But Dolan has rejected these theories, saying: “All the information we have puts the aircraft in a defined search area. The crew and equipment being used are excellent and the data we are receiving is of a quality beyond the specifications yet.”
“If we have to search the entire area, it will be completed this time next year but we expect to find the aircraft before then.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed a Maldivian toddler playing a ball game with his father was the reason behind the Maldives theory after he spotted a plane flying over their island which is not under a flight path. However, the country’s civil aviation authority dismissed the theory and said it was probably a domestic flight and “neither the route nor the timing support that theory”.
Two months ago Australia said it will contribute an extra £40.48 million over the next two years to locate the plane if it is not found during the current official search.
It is joined by Malaysia and China in its current search and the three countries will continue to take responsibility for now in a 16-month investigation which is estimated to have cost £71 million.
It has been 500 days since the Boeing 777 went missing with its 239 passengers and crew as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year. Prime Minister Najib Razak said at the time the plane’s transponder, which emits signals, was “deliberately disabled”. The latest data shows it then continued for at least seven hours before crashing into the Indian Ocean, he said. – Free Malaysia Today