PETALING JAYA: As a clear sign of Malaysia’s commitment to locate the missing MH370, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai will be in Australia on Aug 19 to meet his counterpart Warren Truss.
Liow will also meet relevant agencies and teams participating in the search while a ministerial level meeting is to be held between China, Australia, and Malaysia.
“After five months of searching for the missing plane, we would like to assure the next of kin of those on board MH370 that our commitment has remained consistent and has strengthened,” he said.
To this end, he said a contract to carry out a search of the southern Indian Ocean sea floor had been awarded to Fugro Survey Pty Ltd (Fugro) on Aug 6.
Fugro, added Liow, would utilise two vessels – Fugro Discovery, which is en route to Perth from Britain, and Fugro Equator, which is currently compiling bathymetry data in the search area.
Both ships, he said, were equipped with towed deep-water vehicles which would be operated by experts.
“These vessels will use sophisticated side scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounders and video cameras to locate and identify aircraft debris,” he said.
The underwater search of the 60,000 sq km area, said Liow, was expected to take up a significant amount of time.
Malaysia, he said, had also sent navy survey ship KD Mutiara, scheduled to arrive later this month to join the bathymetric survey work, while the Bunga Mas, which had been in the area since last April, would continue to support the search efforts.
Petronas, said Liow, had also provided underwater search equipment and a support vessel while China had deployed the Zhu Kezhen to survey the seabed.