The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) called for bidders, on Thursday, to show interest in the recovery of the missing Malaysian airplane MH370 from the bottom of the Indian Ocean – if the ill-fated aircraft is found.
The call for tender comes even as there is no certainty as to what happened to the plane after it disappeared in the wee hours of 8 March, 2014 while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew members onboard.
The ATSB tender notice said that this move would allow the authorities to assess which organisations would be able to supply the equipment and expertise needed for lifting the plane from the bottom of the ocean when it is finally found.
The remoteness of the Ocean, and the depths and the high waves of the area are likely to make the aircraft recovery process extremely difficult, with its cost estimated to be around some millions of dollars, the Reuters notes.
The search teams are currently scouring through "an area of 60,000-sq-km patch of sea floor, some 1,600 km west of the South-western Australian city of Perth".
Authorities have said that tenders must be submitted by 18 February, after which the ATSB will shortlist those companies that are best suited for the task. The final decision on recovery operation will be made jointly by Australia, Malaysian and Chinese governments, reports reveal.
This news comes days after an Australian search coordinator irked some people by saying that the plane will be found in one piece and in very "good condition" at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
Martin Dolan, chief of the Australian search rescue team, said that he is confident that the aircraft will be found, although he admitted that it will take some time.
"Our satellite calculations gave us an area we determined was high priority," Dolan told AFP. "In this 60,000 square kilometres (about 23,166 square miles), it's very likely we will find the aircraft, but we don't know exactly where. We just have to cover that area thoroughly," he told AFP.