Australia, China, Malaysia to continue search for MH370

Australia, China and Malaysia pledged today not to give up the search for Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared almost two months ago, even as questions lingered about how to proceed and who would pay, Reuters reported.

There has been no trace of Flight MH370 since its disappearance on a scheduled service from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March, even after the launch of the most intensive search in commercial aviation history.

The air and surface search now stands halted, but a new search phase costing around A$60 million ($55 million) would begin after analysis of existing visual and sonar search data and a contractor was found to lease the sophisticated equipment needed, according to officials who met over the issue in Canberra.

Financial responsibility continued to be a major focus of the talks and Australian deputy prime minister Warren Truss appeared to be opening up the search to manufacturers including Boeing, which produced the 777-200ER jet, and engine maker Rolls Royce, to contribute financially.

"They also have a vested interest in what happened on MH370 so they can be confident about the quality of their product, or take remedial action if there was some part of the aircraft that contributed to this accident," he told reporters.

"So, I think we will be looking for increasing involvement from the manufacturers, and their host countries."

CNN quoted Chinese transport minister, Yang Chuantang as saying yesterday, that it was very clearly known that the area of the follow-up search would be even broader, with more difficulties and tougher tasks.

Australian, Malaysian and Chinese officials are set to meet in Canberra, Australia, on Wednesday to chalk out plans for the next stage of the hunt.

While one group would analyse the data and information collected so far, another would look at the resources needed.

The data audit would also assess information gathered since the beginning of the search.

It would also look again at the satellite information that had been accumulated so that it could be ensured that it had been accurately interpreted, according to Australian deputy prime minister Warren Truss.

Authorities had had to rely on satellite information as also pings believed to have originated from the plane's flight data recorders in picking their search area.

However, according to commentators with the expansion of the search area came the most challenging task ahead: scouring uncharted territory.