Missing MH370: This is going to be a long haul, says Hisham

SEPANG - The search for Flight MH370 will go on until the Boeing 777 is found, even beyond the 30-day life span of the batteries powering the locator beacons of the black boxes, said acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

"The searchers are still spirited and we will carry on until MH370 is found," he told the daily press briefing on Friday.

"Any information we receive from the French team, which took two years to find the black boxes on Air France Flight 447 will be used along with any technology over the next 30 days.

"The southern corridor is an area we have to focus on and we need to reduce the size of that very large area.

"This is going to be a long haul and we have to trench down and the focus is to reduce the area of search and possible rescue," said Hishammuddin.

On the search efforts, Hishammuddin said Kazakhstan which is located along the alternative northern corridor has yet to find any traces of MH370.

He added that Malaysia was waiting for permission from the Kazakhstan government to use the country as a staging area for searches of the northern corridor.

MH370 disappeared from Malaysian radars at 2.15am on March 8 an hour after taking off from KL International Airport for Beijing. It carried 239 passengers and crew.

He said the Malaysian government was still waiting information from the Australian SAR operation as to whether objects in satellite images rleased on Thursday were related to the investigation.

"Malaysia continues to work out diplomatic, technical & logistical challenges involved in the search for missing MH370," he said.

He said that in the meantime search and rescue (SAR) efforts would continue at the Southern and Northern corridors, citing it as the only credible lead.

He added that the search operation in the waters off Perth continues and the Australian authorities have intensified its search.

The HMAS Success is expected to reach the last known location of the debris tomorrow.

China has deployed 5 ships and 3 ship-borne helicopters to the southern corridor, 3 Chinese aircraft (2 Ilyushin IL-76 and 1 Shaanxi Y-8) to follow in search for missing MH370.

Hishammuddin gave his assurance that the government would keep families of the people on board the flight updated on the latest developments.