Canberra: The Australian-led search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is expected to wrap up in December, the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) said on Wednesday.
Initially expected to conclude in August, the search for the missing Boeing 777 jet was hampered by bad weather and unexpected search vessel maintenance, but the latest release from the JACC in conjunction with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the hunt would be suspended indefinitely if no new evidence is found once the search concludes in December, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the latest statement, more than 110,000 sq km of the 120,000 km search zone has been thoroughly explored.
Once the search is completed, efforts will turn to pin-point drift modelling -- using the locations of washed up debris such as the flaperon found on La Reunion island in Indian Ocean last year, scientists will painstakingly map accurate drift patterns in order to determine a new "precise location" for a search zone.
"Thirty years of real life Global Drifter Programme data will be used to model the drift of the flaperon," the statement said.
"This information will not be able to identify the precise location of the aircraft on its own. It is hoped, however, that when added to our existing knowledge and any future learnings, a specific location of the aircraft will be able to be identified."
Flight MH370 was carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared on 8 March, 2014.
First Published On : Aug 24, 2016 15:04 IST