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 – 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

Qatar trains focus on huge upgrade

A major new training establishment is to be built in Qatar, as part of the support structure for the Gulf nation’s forthcoming massive build-up in military aviation assets. Alan Dron reports.

Etihad Cargo introduces new freighter network

Etihad Cargo has announced a refresh of its global freighter network that will be implemented commencing 1 October, 2018, marking a key milestone in its strategy to simplify its route network and maximise freighter-to-bellyhold

XO Jet becomes part of Vista group

The third largest US business jet charter operator by flight hours, XO Jet, which is part-owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, has been bought by Vista Global.

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics in strategic collaboration for Commercial Aviation

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) have agreed a strategic collaboration, for an initial ten-year period, that enables them to combine their highly complementary market leading services to offer broadband

Fourth Middle East Safety Summit to go ahead in October in Riyadh

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), will organise the Fourth Middle East Safety Summit from 2-3 of October 2018 in the capital city of Riyadh.

Predicting what's next in the tailor-made revolution

The fusion of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and in-flight connectivity is changing the way airlines do business. Steve Nichols looks at how cutting-edge technology is changing what you eat, read, and watch on flights, without

MNGJetSK2908121018
See us at
ASDubai BT1004091018Aviation Africa BT0607280219GATM BT1004061118MarrakechAirshow BT2507241018BIAS BT271017161118Cargo BT1004091018MEBAA BT1004121218Istanbul Airshow BT22018AIME19BTA3005120219MAPS18_BT1207131118