Thursday 3 December 2015

MH370 Press Conference - Update December 2015

Some takeouts from this morning's press conference on the search for MH370. This proved to be quite a detailed press conference delivering some important updates, some further refinement of the probable impact point and new resources to the search.
We are confident that the engines ceased operation and therefore it started its descent into the sea. We know pretty well precisely where it was when the engines were running. The issue that's in question is how and over what distance it entered the water.

-- Warren Truss, Deputy PM of Australia
  • The search is expected to continue until June 2016
  • 76,000 sq km of the 120,000 search area has been completed
  • China has ageed to pay the financial shortfall of search funds ($20m Aus)
  • China will become more involved in the search operation (through collaboration and data sharing)
  • China will provide a fourth search vessel during the summer months
  • Of the areas searched, 4% require more detailed rechecks. This should be completed by February 016
  • The ATSB has revised and just released MH370 - Defining the Search Area {Report)
  • The ATSB say their probability 'hotspot' is consistent with at least two other independent studies of the search area
  • More recent refinement analysis has resulted in a marginal widening of the search area along the south point of the 7th arc - not an extension of it further south
  • There are no plans to extend the search beyond June 2016
  • The French BEA continue to test the flaperon found on the island of La Reunion last July
  • The ATSB is NOT tasked by Malaysia with providing how or why MH370 ended in the South Indian Ocean - simply locating the wreckage and the logistics of its recovery
This proved to be one of the most detailed press conferences on MH370 over the past 21 months. It was in stark contrast to press conferences in the early days of the search in 2014. The conference was spared some of the inane mainstream media questions that marred many early 'PR events' in both Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. As can be witnessed in the video, questions came from several AV journalists and were pointed, detailed, and answered without any flip-flopping.