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Australia, which is leading an underwater search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight in the southern Indian Ocean, has said that 50% of the priority search area has already been scanned, and the search could end in May. 

In the latest operation search update published on Wednesday, Australia said that 'assuming no significant delays with vessels, equipment or from the weather', the search in the current underwater search area will be completed by May. 

Search teams are scanning 60,000 square kilometres of the seafloor in the Indian Ocean, about 1,600 km west of Perth. 

Earlier this month, Australia dismissed reports that it was planning to call of the search for MH370, which veered off its flight path from Kuala Lampur to Beijing on 8 May last year and whose fate is still unknown.

The update comes even as an aviation expert ruffled feathers demanding that the Australian government prove that the plane is actually at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. 

Andre Milne, a military aviation technology expert, has written to Australian authorities, challenging the governmen's 'seventh arc' theory, which suggests the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean. 

He has cited the lack of radar data to prove the theory and the inability of finding any physical evidence of the plane being in the ocean, despite the "single most extensive search operation ever conducted in human history," in his letter, IBTimes UK reported. 

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau had said last year that the plane was most likely to be in a corridor in the ocean called the 'seventh arc'. 

Milne has called Australia's claims "a criminal act of fabrication of evidence." 

He, however, refused to guess where the plane might actually be, calling it "premature and utterly irresponsible to talk about any theory without having any physical evidence."