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
Latest News

Emirates introduces A380 on Riyadh route

Emirates is introducing the first scheduled Airbus A380 service to Riyadh, effective 21 April 2019. Riyadh will be the 51st destination to join the Emirates A380 network.

Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engine achieves 10 million flying hours

The Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engine, which entered service in 1987, recently reached 10 million flying hours in nearly five million flights.

Airbus will participate at Turkey’s IDEF 2019

Airbus will attend Turkey’s IDEF 2019, 14th International Defence Industry Fair, held in Istanbul from April 30 to May 3.

Export Bahrain partners with Gulf Air Cargo to offer special discounts on cargo exports

Export Bahrain has signed an exclusive partnership with Gulf Air’s Falcon Cargo to provide SMEs in the Kingdom of Bahrain, exporting their goods to the tune of 100 kilograms or above, with special discount of up to 40% on their cargo

Could Al Ain be the UAE’s sleeping superstar?

Al Ain International Airport is poised for growth – cargo is already expanding and the search is on for more passenger traffic, as Alan Dron discovered.

EgyptAir takes delivery of second B787-9 Dreamliner

EgyptAir’s second B787-9 Dreamliner has arrived today at Cairo International Airport. The aircraft is slated to operate flights from Cairo to Frankfurt by April 22nd.

ACCA19_SK0201080919
See us at
Connect MEIA BT1402010519ACCA19_BT2141218280219