Search and Rescue

Who coordinates the SAR of RAAus aircraft

Safety, Search and Rescue

Monday 31 October, 2016

Australia has accepted the obligation to provide aeronautical and maritime SAR coordination and services for its territories, territorial seas, and the high seas within its SAR region called a SAR system.

The fundamental aim of the SAR system is to provide assistance to persons in distress.

The responsibility for the coordination of Aviation SAR response is exercised by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Australia on behalf of Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

In accordance with Annex 12 of the Convention of International Civil Aviation, the Commonwealth Government, through the AMSA, accepts responsibility for the provision of Search and Rescue Services for civil and internationally registered aircraft in Australia’s SAR Region (SRR). The meaning for civil registered is taken to include those aircraft on the VH register managed by the CASA and on the RAAus register which the RAAus manages on behalf of CASA (NATSAR Manual, 2014, p. 27)


Awareness and Notification

When the SAR system first becomes aware of an actual or potential emergency, the information collected and the initial actions taken are often critical to successful SAR operations. It must be assumed that in each incident there are survivors who will need assistance and whose chances of survival are reduced by the passage of time.

The success of the SAR operations depends on the speed with which the operation is planned and carried out. Information must be gathered and evaluated to determine the nature of the distress, the appropriate emergency phase, and what action should be taken. Prompt receipt of all available information by the RCC is necessary for thorough evaluation, immediate decision on the best course of action and a timely activation of SAR assets to make it possible to achieve the following:

  1. Locate, support and rescue persons in distress in the shortest possible time.
  2. Use any contribution survivors may still be able to make towards their own rescue while they are still capable of doing so (NATSAR Manual, 2014, p. 75).