The area in the southern Indian Ocean where acoustic signals were detected in early April has been ruled out as the “final resting place” of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and in its professional judgement, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370,” mentioned the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) on Thursday.
JACC said the Bluefin-21 finished its last search mission at the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals on Wednesday.
The data obtained was analysed and no signs of aircraft debris was discovered by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle since it joined the search efforts, it said.
JACC said Bluefin-21 has scoured over 850 square kilometres of the ocean floor searching for signs of the missing plane, since it joined the search.
The search for MH370 now includes reviewing all information, conducting a bathymetric survey to map the sea floor and acquiring specialist services needed for a comprehensive search of the sea floor.
JACC added that the expert satellite working group goes on to review and refine complex analyses of radar and satellite data as well as aircraft performance data to determine where the aircraft most likely entered the ocean.
It said the ATSB will soon release a formal request for tender to source the capability to undertake the underwater search.
“A single prime contractor will be chosen to bring together and manage the expertise, equipment and vessels to carry out the search.”
The request for tender will be performed via AusTender, the Australian Government Tender System.