Missing MH370: Kazakhstan for SAR staging point

22 Mar 2014 / 13:23 H.

SEPANG: Kazakhstan is being approached to be used as a staging point for the MH370 Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in the northern corridor.
They are being approached despite having confirmed that they did not detect any traces of MH370 in their air space.
Acting Transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today that Kazakhstan authorities have assured that they have found no trace of MH370.
"We are awaiting permission for Kazakhstan to be used as a staging point," he said at the daily press conference at Sama- Sama Hotel.
He explained that the staging point is being set up there to intensify and narrow down the SAR area in the northern corridor.
"I have also been in touch with the French delegation, which is led by the French ambassador to Malaysia, and includes a man who led the investigation into the Air France 447 crash. They have agreed to assist us with their considerable experience and expertise," he said.
Hishammuddin was hopeful of finding MH370 before the signal of the aircraft's black box runs out after 30 days, despite the search being in Day 14.
He explained that the southern corridor is a challenging search for its remote location and the ocean condition.
"But we have the best assets deployed to search in that area. The P-3 Orion and P-8 Poseidon is some of the most sophisticated equipment that we have, there is only two in the world.
"If these cannot locate the air craft, I don't know what will," he said.
He added should the search be unsuccessful after the black box's signal runs out in 30 days, the French teams expertise would come in handy as the Air France 447's black box was found after two years.
Meanwhile, he also said he had spoken to the High Commissioner of UK and it is now confirmed that the HMS Echo is already heading towards the southern Indian Ocean.
"China has deployed five ships and three ship-borne helicopters heading to the southern corridor. Japan is deploying its assets to Perth, including two P-3 Orions, to assist with the Australian search efforts,"he said.


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