Aerial Search for Flight 370 Will Be Suspended

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IN FLIGHT - MARCH 24:  A crewman of an RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft looks out from an observation window during a search for missing Malaysia Airways Flight MH370 on March 24, 2014 off the South West Coast of Perth, Australia. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke at a press conference today to announce that fresh analysis of available satellite data has concluded that missing flight MH370's final position was in the southern Indian Ocean. French authorities reported a satellite sighting of objects in an area of the southern Indian Ocean where China and Australia have also reported similar sightings of potential debris from the flight that went missing on March 8. (Photo by Richard Wainwright - Pool/Getty Images)
Photo: Pool/2014 Getty Images

After an underwater search by the Bluefin-21 submersible failed to find any sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in a 6.2 square-mile area of the ocean floor, on Monday Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced, "We are going to enter a new phase of search focusing under the sea." Commercial contractors using different types of technology will begin scouring a much larger area of the seabed, covering and area of about 435 miles by 50 miles. "That is obviously going to take quite a few months," Abbott said (though a U.S. official suggested it's likely to take years). Meanwhile, the aerial search will be suspended. "It is highly unlikely at this stage that we will find any aircraft debris on the ocean surface," Abbott said. "By this stage, 52 days into the search, most material would have become waterlogged and sunk."