After two years and over $130 million spent, it looks as though the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be suspended, potentially forever. Malaysia, Australia, and China have all been actively involved in the search for the missing MH370, but with an absence of evidence and the search area, which spans over 46,000 square miles, almost completely scoured, hope is fading that the aircraft will ever be found, according to Leader-Telegram.
“In the absence of new evidence, Malaysia, Australia and China have collectively decided to suspend the search upon completion of the 120,000-square-kilometer (46,300-square-mile) search area,” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said following a meeting with his colleagues from Australia and China.
— CNN (@CNN) July 22, 2016
According to CBC News, Flight MH370 was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. Suspicions are the plane may have turned back west and then south before plunging into the Indian Ocean west of Australia. Search efforts for flight MH370 have been concentrated there.
There is, however, an anticipation that should new evidence be uncovered as to the location of the missing MH370, the search could be on again. Ministers from Australia, China, and Malaysia all said, though, that they did not want the search, should it be resumed, for MH370 to be frivolous in nature.
“Should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps,” a joint statement issued from all three ministers said.
Some relatives of those missing from flight MH370 admitted to varying emotions at the news that the search for the flight would be suspended, according to Orange County Register.
“There was no convincing and solid evidence in the past 867 days, and that’s even with the search,” Beijing resident Dai Shuqin, who had five relatives on the missing MH370, said. “So what can we hope for if they suspend the search now? Nothing, nothing at all. That’s it. This is it.”
Australian transportation minister Darren Chester said that authorities did not want to resume the search in the future unless there was a reasonable hope that the search for MH370 would lead someplace that would give families closure.
“Future searches must have a high level of success to justify raising hopes of loved ones,” he said.
According to KSAT, it is possible that the pilot of flight MH370, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was looking to complete suicide by possibly driving the flight into the Indian Ocean, a route that it appears he practiced in the month before the flight disappeared. Such suggestions were levelled against the captain around the first anniversary of the flight’s disappearance but were discounted by investigators. This was, however, before an analysis of the pilot’s computers had been completed.
The Factual Report, released around the first anniversary of the disappearance of MH370, stated that “The captain’s ability to handle stress at work and home was good. There were no significant changes in his life style, interpersonal conflict of family stresses.”
New evidence suggests MH370 pilot flew a suicide route https://t.co/ahH1LCnPkP
— Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) July 23, 2016
A flaperon found on the shore of La Reunion Island last year may have led to some new evidence, according to New Strait Times, but the French government has not yet forwarded the flaperon on to Malaysia. Liow said that the flaperon did not show the exact location of MH370 but supported the drift modelling analysis that authorities had previously conducted. In addition, the Dutch company in charge of the underwater search Flight MH370 suggested that perhaps the plane may not have hit the water in a dive, but possibly a glide in its final moments.
Regardless of the mystery that continues to surround Flight MH370, families are feeling disheartened as a result of the governments’ joint decision to suspend the search. Some fear that the suspension of the search for the missing flight might be a way of forgetting about what has become the most expensive search in aviation history.
“We don’t want the suspension to be just a way to let everyone calm down and slowly forget about it,” Grace Subathirai Nathan, whose mother was on Flight MH370, said. “We want them to be doing something in the interim to look for new information.”
[Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images]