In a continuing effort to rub salt in Malaysia’s swelling wounds, scientists in China have pointed out that the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is likely to be the most expensive search in aviation history, according to the South China Morning Post.
The annual bill, they said, could end up being 10 times the amount of money racked up from the two-year search for the Air France plane that crashed in 2009 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
France and Brazil in total spent more than 40 million USD recovering the black boxes from Air France flight 447. The operation, which used underwater robots to search the seafloor, was called to an end after crews found 50 of the 228 bodies.
Zhao Chaofang, an oceanographer at the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, told the South Morning Post that China alone has already dropped hundreds of millions of yuan in the effort.
“If the operation is stretched to a long-term search for years, US$200 million per year is barely enough to maintain the multinational effort,” he said.
Another researcher at the Civil Aviation University of China added that the cost would “far, far exceed” that of the Air France search.
Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian acting transport minister, has stated that finding the missing jet is the top priority and costs have not been considered.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the location of the accident will determine which country has jurisdiction. Over international waters, the state where the aircraft was registered, this case being Malaysia, will foot the bill.
The US has reported spending over 2.5 million USD of the 4 million it set aside for he search, The Independent reports.
Resources from 27 nations have been mobilized in the effort. China has 10 ships jointing the search, Australia five, Malaysia six and one from the UK, according to the Post. Each ship uses at least 1,000 yuan of fuel per hour, according to Zhao.
He added that China’s satellites, at least 20 of which were used, cost around 400 million yuan each.
In a recent development for the hunt of the missing jet, The Guardian reports that the Australian-led search has shifted 1,100 kilometers to the north-east following new reports that the plane was going faster than previously thought and would not have made it as far into the Indian Ocean before running out of fuel and crashing.
Previously on Shanghaiist: American families to get millions more compensation for MH370 victims than Chinese relatives
[Image via ECNS.cn]