The possibility of calling off the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is on the table, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said. Financial issues seemed to be the primary concern, with the MH370 search becoming the most expensive of its kind, Truss told Reuters in an exclusive interview.
Truss recognized that families of those in the missing flight will not have closure unless the plane is found, and will not move on until the remains of their loved ones are recovered. However, search for MH370 cannot last forever.
“We clearly cannot keep searching forever, but we want to do everything that’s reasonably possible to locate the aircraft,” Truss told Reuters.
Splitting the Cost
Australia and Malaysia have agreed to split the costs amounting to roughly $40.5 million. However, the search for MH370 is becoming the most expensive search operations to date.
“We put in the amount of money that we believed was necessary to do this job well… we have to make other decisions, then, about how long the search should continue,” Truss said.
Chief Commissioner of Australian Transport Safety Bureau Martin Dolan remained optimistic that MH370 will be found, though the cost of the search will be limiting if it would require exploring bigger and larger areas than what is being scoured at the present.
“It’s almost impossible to get your head around the scale of what’s involved here. If you take the theoretical maximum of the possible area for the aircraft – 1.1 or 1.2 million sq km – you’re talking about orders or magnitude in terms of cost and time above what we’re currently doing, and that’s something that governments will obviously have to bear in mind,” Dolan said during the interview.
The report comes just days before the anniversary of MH370 on March 8.
Voice370, comprised of MH370 next-of-kins, announced an event, Remembrance of Our Loved Ones on Flight MH370.
On their Facebook page, the families said they have to endure that day, describing the MH370 loss as “horrifically unprecedented.”
“Somehow, despite the passage of so much time, it is unlikely that we will know anything more on the anniversary about the final moments of the flight than we did almost a year ago. The search efforts have been futile; not a single piece of wreckage from the airplane has been found,” the families said in a Facebook post.