Malaysia is currently in negotiations with Texas-based seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity, which will begin its search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) in December or January, when summer begins in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Malaysian government will decide when Ocean Infinity’s search for the plane can begin after the country’s transport minister meets with his Australian and Chinese counterparts next month, the director general of Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation said during a Kuala Lumpur International Airport event on Wednesday, Channel News Asia reported.
Ocean Infinity offered to search for free, opting only to accept payment if the aircraft is found.
The search for MH370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, was called off last January. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau spent more than 1,000 days searching for the plane in what became the largest hydrographic survey ever, mapping more than 274,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean seafloor at depths of up to 20,000 feet.
Last month, Malaysia’s Transport Ministry confirmed that it had received proposals from three different companies to continue the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (MH370): US marine surveyor Ocean Infinity, Dutch geotechnical and survey company Fugro and an unidentified Malaysian firm.