Reports/The Operational Search for MH370/Search funding

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Search funding

Funding and resource contributions for the underwater search have been provided by the Governments of Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China as outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: Resources available to the ATSB for search activities

CountryContributionPercentage of available resources
Malaysia  [1]A$115m58%
Australia  [2]  [3]  [4]A$63m32%
The People’s Republic of China  [5]  [6]A$~20m10%
Overall Available ResourcesA$198m100%

Source: ATSB

 

Search actual costs

The estimated actual costs of the Australian led underwater search for MH370 to 30 June 2017 are detailed in Table 2. These costs cover the financial years 2013-14 through to 2016-17.

Table 2: Estimated actual search costs to 30 June 2017

Search PhaseCost areaEstimated actual cost to 30 June 2017
Underwater Search – ATSB
Lead Program Components:
Underwater SearchA$170m
Bathymetry (Underwater Mapping)A$20m
Program ManagementA$7m
Other sub-components (Definition of
search area, Recovery preparation,
Investigation Support)
A$1m
Total – Underwater Search
Program Components:
  A$198m

Source: ATSB

Costs for the search by Australian Government agencies (Commonwealth and State) over and above the funding provided in the Budget Measures have been absorbed by the respective agencies and are not included in the actual costs in Table 2.




  1. During 2014-15 Malaysia also directly funded the provision of a vessel (GO Phoenix) and search system as part of the underwater search. This vessel and equipment contributed to the search from September 2014 through to June 2015. The contract for the provision of these services was directly with Malaysia and the value of this contribution is not included in the figures above.
  2. The funding contribution provided by Australia is outlined in Budget Measure ‘Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – Search’ as announced in the 2014-15 Budget. Details are provided in Budget Paper No. 2 2014-15 and the 2014-15 Portfolio Budget Statements for the Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio.
  3. A funding measure was also provided by Australia and outlined in Budget Measure ‘Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – International Contribution’ as announced in the 2015-16 Budget. Details are provided in Budget Paper No. 2 2015-16 and the 2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements for the Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio. The measure consisted of $43.9 million in 2014-15 and $50.0 million in 2015-16 with the cost of the measure fully offset by financial contributions to the search by the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia.
  4. A further funding contribution of $3 million provided by Australia outlined in Budget Measure ‘Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 - additional contribution - extension’ in the 2016-17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).
  5. In November 2015 the People’s Republic of China offered $20 million as a resource contribution to the search. This contribution included the search vessel, Dong Hai Jiu 101.
  6. During the early part of the search the People’s Republic of China provided the vessel Zhu Kezhen to undertake underwater mapping services. The value of this contribution is not included in the figures above.

Source: The Operational Search for MH370, Australian Transport Safety Bureau, 3 October 2017
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2014/aair/ae-2014-054/




Extracts from The Operational Search for MH370 have been included here for reference purposes, particularly the sections which relate to the history of the flight; times and events; the aircraft's satellite data unit (SDU); and the Pilot in Command’s flight simulator.