A new search area for remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is likely the place where the aircraft is located, Australia authorities said Wednesday night.
The new search beginning in August will cover an arc area in the Indian Ocean 60,000 square kilometers in size, said Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.
“This is the biggest search operation in history,” he said during a media conference.
Australia authorities said they are confident the plane was on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean.
The search will shift south of the initial seabed zone and requires underwater mapping before any equipment is deployed due to the depth and uncharted area, Truss said.
“The new search area is most likely the place the aircraft is resting,” he said.
It has been nearly four months since contact was lost with the plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, which departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport bound for Beijing.
To date, no debris has been located.
Crews have searched 860 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean so far based on calculations done according to what officials believe was the plane's final course.
Truss said the search could yield results immediately or it may be another year before any remains are located on the ocean floor.
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