Kuala Lumpur, Jan 14: Malaysia has said it was committed to locate the flight MH370 which went missing over southern Indian Ocean in March last year with 239 people on board, as one more ship with enhanced search capabilities joined the underwater hunt.
"We are actively giving care, counseling and updating the latest information to the families and next of kin here and in China through the Family Communication and Support Centre in Beijing," Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said. An additional vessel has been commissioned to carry out the underwater search for the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur which mysteriously disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.
The Fugro Supporter ship, owned by the Australian government, will join three other vessels already carrying out underwater searches in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing aircraft.
The vessel is equipped with an autonomous underwater vehicle which can scan portions of the search area that equipment on other vessels are not able to reach effectively. The Fugro Supporter will commence search activities, joining the Fugro Equator survey ship, Discovery and Phoenix later this month.
GO Phoenix is contracted by the Malaysian government. Liow said the Australian government was expected to spend about 120 million dollars on Fugro Supporter in the search. Malaysian Petroleum giant Petronas has funded Go Phoenix's cost of RM67 million (about USD 18 million).
On the recovery of AirAsia Flight QZ8501's black boxes, Liow said this would allow the Indonesian authorities to identify the cause of the crash and end all undue speculations. He hoped that investigation details would ensure that flight safety will be upgraded and serves as a reminder of the importance of staying constant in the quest to increase international aviation safety and security standards.
Liow also expressed hope that the implementation of real time global tracking will be accelerated. Malaysia is committed to providing assistance to Indonesian and has sent three Royal Malaysian Navy vessels for the search efforts, he said.