KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 – The government has not determined the overall cost of the search and recovery operation for the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 which went missing on March 8, the Dewan Negara was informed here Monday. Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) required every country to provide search and rescue services within their jurisdiction under Annex 12 of the Chicago Convention 1994. This meant that the SAR cost would be shared by all the countries involved, he replied to a question from Senator Rohani Abdullah on the cost of the operation so far. “So far 26 countries, 89 aircraft, 80 ships, several satellites, a submarine and an autonomous underwater vehicle have been involved in the operation,” he added.
The search is now focused at the southern Indian Ocean, south west of Perth, Australia. MH370 with 239 people aboard left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am the same day. A multinational search was mounted for the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, in the southern Indian Ocean. After an analysis of satellite data indicated that the plane’s last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on March 24 that Flight MH370 had “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.