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

Gulf Air adds Maldives as it welcomes its third Airbus 320neo

Gulf Air has welcomed the airline’s third Airbus A320neo, which on October 26 will begin operating to Gulf Air’s newest destination – Male in the Maldives.

Etihad release statement on airspace restrictions

Following the decision of the US Federal Aviation Administration to restrict US airline operations in Iranian-controlled airspace, Etihad Airways has consulted with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and other UAE airlines to

SITA celebrates 70th anniversary with record US$1.7 billion revenue

More than 100 of the world’s airlines and airports gathered in Belgium last week as SITA, the air transport IT provider, celebrated its 70th anniversary.

Abu Dhabi Airports achieves CIPS Advanced Level

Abu Dhabi Airports has secured a Procurement Excellence Gold Award from the internationally recognised Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), following its completion of a comprehensive award submission.

Etihad bolsters flight safety with SITAONAIR's eWAS Weather Awareness Solution

Etihad Airways has bolstered flight safety by choosing to deploy SITAONAIR’s rich and intuitive EFB Weather Awareness Solution, eWAS, across more than 100 aircraft.

Qatar Executive expands its fleet with two Gulfstream Jets

Qatar Executive has delivered two new state-of-the-art Gulfstream jets.

ACCA19_SK0201080919
See us at
DIAC19_BT264161119ACCA19_BT_2404091019Dubai AS BT2006211119MEBAA BT2006260919