Picture: The West Australian/Steve Ferrier

The relocation to Perth of the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft has brought the world's media to the city.

Bullsbrook, on the outskirts of the city's north-east, is home to the RAAF's Pearce airbase, where most of the aircraft searching the remote southern Indian Ocean for the missing plane are based.

From early yesterday the verge outside the base had attracted a growing number of journalists and crews, and their car loads of gear.

By mid-morning crews from local and national newspapers and electronic media had gathered and were quickly joined by an ever-growing stream of crews from international networks, including from the US, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Germany, Britain and New Zealand.

Satellite dishes had sprouted from the top of vehicles and formed lines along the dry grass and sat in the base carpark.

Before long the hum from the line of outside broadcast trucks was almost ready to compete with the never-ending rumble of heavy trucks rolling past on busy Great Northern Highway.

Among those to arrive from overseas was Yijun Zhou, from Phoenix TV, Hong Kong, who had flown in yesterday morning in a crew of three to join a local reporter. She said the relatives of the missing passengers were desperate for information and the longer the search went on the greater that need became.

She said the Chinese version of Twitter had been full of rumour and theories about the missing plane and questions about whether the governments involved in the search were in possession of information which they were not revealing.

Jack Board, based in Singapore for Channel News Asia, also arrived yesterday morning and had made his way straight to Pearce.

He said the network would be taking live crosses from Pearce at 11am, midday, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 7pm.

"In the region people are just in shock and the uncertainty is tangible," he said.

As numbers swelled outside the base a barrier was placed on the edge of the verge and food and drink was delivered from a cafe inside the base, which also started to prepare a menu for breakfast this morning.

By lunchtime, the RAAF had sent a team of servicemen and women to set up a row of tents just inside the front fence, and the still-growing media pack was moved inside the gates.

Up to 30 media vehicles moved inside and for what must have been more than 75 journalists and crews, the long wait went on.

The West Australian

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