The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued a tender, seeking recovery services, in the event of locating the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The ATSB said preliminary tenders would allow it to assess which organisations are able to supply the equipment and expertise required for any recovery operation.
“While no wreckage from the missing aircraft has yet been found, preparations are being made so a recovery operation can be mobilised quickly and effectively when needed,” Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said in a statement.
According to reports, the deadline for the tenders is February 18, 2015 and the final decision on any recovery operation will be made jointly by the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments.
The latest MH370 search reports say that around 16,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched, which is around 26 per cent of the priority search area.
Meanwhile, a fourth ship, Fugro Supporter has joined the underwater search for a Malaysia Airlines plane. The M.V. Fugro Supporter is a multipurpose survey vessel operated by Fugro Pelagos, Inc., and based out of Singapore. The vessel has a versatile platform capable of deploying work class ROVs, AUVs, and both 2-D and 3-D High Resolution seismic spreads.
All four vessels employ a range of equipment including side scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounders and video cameras to locate and identify aircraft debris.