KUALA LUMPUR: The final, detailed investigation report into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been suspended pending the outcome of a new search for the Boeing-777.
In an interim statement shared with the next-of-kin on the fourth anniversary of the plane's disappearance, the MH370 investigation team said "any new evidence uncovered is likely to significantly affect the investigation".
"In the event that the aircraft is found, the Team will conduct further investigation," it said, in the statement released on Thursday (Mar 8) afternoon.
"If the aircraft is not found and a decision is made to discontinue the search, the Team will resume the completion of the report and release it in the months ahead," read the statement.
Annex 13 of the Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) states that if any accident and investigation report cannot be finalised, an interim statement has to be issued at every anniversary of the accident.
Flight MH370 went missing on Mar 8, 2014 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, with 239 people onboard. An initial years-long search in the southern Indian Ocean failed to yield any results although pieces of debris have washed up to shore.
In January, a private American firm entered an agreement with the Malaysian government to resume the search on a "no find, no fee" basis. Ocean Infinity will be paid only if the debris field or black boxes are found within 90 days.
The fourth interim report states that no new debris has been found since its last report in 2017 that said that three items of debris were confirmed to be from MH370.
However, "there is continuing activity to retrieve and examine any new debris that is discovered".
"MORE" SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPORTED
Some next-of-kin, however, believe more should have gone into the interim report given the lack of information available.
"While waiting for an outcome via Ocean Infinity, the government could and should release reports on existing information," said Grace Nathan, daughter of passenger Anne Daisy.
"For example it would be nice to see the complete cargo manifest released and a report regarding the same.
"Secondly, it would be good to see our government come up with a plan for debris recovery should the plane be found instead of waiting for it to be found before anything is even initiated.
"It would help us feel that the government is hopeful or even optimistic that the plane will be found. It would be a sign of dedication and good faith."
Malaysian officials are currently working with Australian authorities on plans to recover the plane's wreckage or its flight recorders, in the event the aircraft is found.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak reiterated the country's commitment to finding the plane.
"We are pushing the global aviation community to take measures to make our skies safer," he said on his official Twitter account on Thursday.