A US exploration firm was mandated by the Malaysian government on Wednesday to resume search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 aircraft, possibly the last attempt to solve one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history. Oliver Plunkett is the CEO of Ocean Infinity, the company that will carry out the search.
Lai said the company has been given a deadline of 90 days to complete the search and will not charge any fee if it is unable to locate the remains of the flight that is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.
The payment terms are that $20 million will be paid if the wreckage and flight recorders are found within the first 5,000 sq km; $30 million within an additional 10,000 sq km; $50 million within a further 10,000 sq km and $70 million for search beyond 25,000 sq km. An official search-and-rescue mission was called off last year - three years after the plane went missing.
Expressing similar sentiments, VPR Nathan, whose wife Anne Daisy was on the aircraft which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, said it was hard to come to terms without knowing what had happened to the families and their flight.
The search was extremely hard because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. He said his government was committed to continue with the search.
A fresh search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is expected to begin soon, spearheaded by a private United States-based company.
After almost three years of combing 120,000 sq km of ocean floor without success, the Malaysian, Chinese and Australian governments in January last year made a decision to suspend the search until "credible new information" becomes available. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's final report on the search conceded that authorities were no closer to knowing the reasons for the plane's disappearance, or its exact location.
Only three fragments of MH370 have been found on western Indian Ocean shores, including a two-metre wing part known as a flaperon.
Shin Kok Chau, husband of MH370 passenger Tan Ser Kuin, who was present at the signing of the MoU yesterday at the Transport Ministry here, remained "very hopeful" of finding the plane and solving the mystery which still haunted him and his family.
The search was conducted in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand, becoming the most expensive search operation in the history of aviation.
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