BY MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT, MALAYSIA
THURSDAY, 27 MARCH 2014, 5:50PM
1. Chinese Special Envoy
a. Yesterday, His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China, met with the Prime Minister and Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, the Acting Minister of Transport and the Minister of Defence.
b. Following the meeting with Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, His Excellency Zhang Yesui also received a comprehensive technical briefing by the international working group, led by the AAIB. Inmarsat’s findings - which led to the conclusion that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean - were explained during the meeting.
c. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) of the CAAC were present at yesterday’s technical briefing. The CAAC and AAID have been, and will continue to be, members of the international working group.
d. Today His Excellency Zhang Yesui also met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are currently in KL.
e. Malaysia is committed to working closely with the Government of China and to sharing all information related to MH370 in full.
2. Family briefing in Beijing
a. Yesterday, the Malaysian high-level team met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are based in Beijing, for the fourth time. Over the duration of the three hour meeting, the relatives received a technical briefing and an update on the search operation. The high-level team also answered questions. Today, the high-level team met relatives again, at 3:25pm Malaysia time. The meeting is still underway.
b. Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chinese relatives in Beijing more productive. Malaysian officials met with His Excellency Huang Huikang, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, to request the Government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general.
3. Operational update
a. The planned area of search today was 16,298 square nautical miles in the West sector, and 6,506 square nautical miles in the East sector.
b. The area identified by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) yesterday – where the 122 potential objects were sighted – was also due to be searched today.
c. Today, nine planes travelled to the search area – five in the East sector and four in the West sector.
In the East sector, searches by air were conducted by:
· two Australian civilian aircraft.
· one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.
· one New Zealand civil aircraft.
· one Japanese Gulfstream.
In the West sector, searches by air were conducted by:
· two Australian P-3 Orions.
· two Australian civil aircraft.
d. Today six ships were deployed in the search area – one in the East sector and five in the West sector.
In the East sector, searches by ship were conducted by:
· one Chinese ship (the Xue Long).
In the West sector, searches by ship were conducted by:
· four Chinese ships (the Kunlunshan, Haikou, Qiandaohui, and Zhonghaishaohua).
· one Australian ship (the HMAS Success).
e. One Chinese ship (the Hai Xun) is expected to arrive in the search area tonight.
f. Today the weather deteriorated in the search area and search operations were suspended at 11:40am.
4. Malaysian team going to Perth
a. Malaysia is in the process of sending a team, comprised of the DCA, MAS, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, to Perth. This team will work closely with the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre to assist with the search operation.