Subscribe Free
in Air Transport / ATM & Regulatory

Aviation Africa: Search and Rescue safety net needs to be extended

Posted 11 May 2015 · Add Comment

Poor Search and Rescue (SAR) coordination has been highlighted by a succession of international air tragedies. In a case study, Brian Day, ICAO HQ technical officer, SAR (retired) and now a civil aviation SAR consultant, said SAR's purpose is clear and unambiguous Ė it saves lives.

Brian Day“SAR has a proud record, putting a brave face on tragedy and collecting valuable safety data for the industry,” Day said.
 
But, he said, SAR must change, in a variety of ways.
 
“For a long time SAR has not been well supported. In a word, the industry has become complacent,” he said.
 
He added that to be effective SAR needs the involvement of a wide-ranging number of different entities, including security, police, diplomatic and military.
 
“Cooperation, communication and coordination are the essential 'three Cs' of SAR.” he said. “Aviation SAR is a legal obligation and cross-border cooperation is a necessity.”
 
He highlighted the loss of Air France AF447 while en-route between Rio to Paris on 1 June 2009.
 
“When the aircraft failed to make contact the RCC should have acted faster,” he said. “In fact it took more than six hours before a distress phase was declared.
 
“It was 10 hours before the first SAR aircraft was despatched. The search was uncoordinated and offered little probability of detection.”
 
He said that any cross-border search attempt is likely to be “shambolic” without the correct plans in place.
 
Day also highlighted the case of UP56, a Boeing 747-400 that declared a fire while over the Arabian Gulf in 2011. The aircraft had overflown Bahrain, Iran and Emirates search and rescue regions.
 
If there had been a disaster the coordination may have been very problematic , Day surmised.
 
“The recent loss of MH370 involved both the Malaysian and Vietnamese FIR boundaries,” he said. “Again, there were time delays before an alert or distress phase was declared.
 
“As I stand here and say this I have cold chills passing down my spine,” he added.
 
“We are not speaking here about an interesting news item, but the lives of 239 people – an entire week was lost looking in the South China Sea.”
 
He said the problems in all these cases were failures in organisation and the obvious question is whether the states involved were incompetent or under resourced. He highlighted an ICAO survey that showed fundamental problems with SAR arrangements across 191 states.
 
“In summary, half of the world's SAR provisions are dysfunctional and downright dangerous,” he said.
 
“Africa fears no better than other states globally. That's no more acceptable than the rest of the world.”
 
What is now urgently required is both a worldwide network of state and regional SAR boundaries, he said.
 
“The strategy is simple – we need to establish a regional organisation for SAR, rather than a country-led model to strengthen the safety net of last resort,” Day concluded.  

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Boeing eyes up Middle East for tanker export

As the combat aircraft inventories of Middle East nations continue to grow, air forces are increasingly seeking to back up their front-line units with support aircraft such as tankers. As Alan Dron reports, Boeing believes that its new

Turkish Aerospace has a new logo

Turkish Aerospace, which maintains position as a leader in the Aerospace industry of Turkey, is getting a fresh look with the new logo and identity.

Emirates opens first dedicated airport lounge in Cairo

Emirates has unveiled its 42nd dedicated lounge across its global network at Cairo International Airport (CAI).

Qatar Airways to showcase its A350-1000 at the Farnborough International Airshow

Qatar Airways has said that six state-of-the-art aircraft will be on display at this yearís Farnborough International Airshow, taking place from 16 to 22 July in Hampshire, United Kingdom.

Airbus Helicopters industrial model is coming together

The first pre-serial H160 has been fitted with its rear fuselage, the first major component assembly having been pre-assembled in Albacete, Spain according to the site specialisation strategy implemented in Airbus Helicopters.

Airbus delivers first A321neo in Cabin Flex configuration to Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines has taken delivery of the first A321neo in Cabin Flex configuration.

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
GATM BT1004061118ASDubai BT1004091018Istanbul Airshow BT22018MEBAA BT1004121218MAPS18_BT1207131118AIME19BTA3005120219Aviation Africa BT0607280219Cargo BT1004091018BIAS BT271017161118