Africa is long overdue a single search and rescue sky – Aviation Africa keynote calls for action

While heated debate continues over the commercial and political value of Africa’s Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), one global civil aviation expert will use the Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition in Kigali on 27 & 28 February 2019 to outline essential plans for another single sky – one focusing on search and rescue (SAR).

Keynote speaker Brian Day will deliver a controversial presentation on Aspiring to a Single SAR Sky over Africa. The Australian former air traffic controller will be addressing African government ministers, directors-general of civil aviation authorities and vitally, assembled Air Chiefs from African defence forces when the summit takes place on 27 & 28 February 2019.

Day was Australia’s national manager for aviation search and rescue before becoming the ICAO HQ Technical Officer, SAR, for eight years where he facilitated the development of provisions for the delivery of global civil aviation SAR services, conducting many technical cooperation missions worldwide and assisting in the provision of emergency response to distressed States such as Kosovo, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon. For five years he managed the ICAO/AFCAC SAR Project to Africa when he evaluated and provided advice to some 35 African states, and was a SAR advisor to the UAE’s Air Force and its civil aviation authority.

Day believes it is essential that African states and the international aviation community takes urgent action to develop a fit-for-purpose SAR network. « If a worthwhile project is to get airborne, it will need to be with support from IFATCA, IFALPA, CANSO, ACI, ICAO, IATA and, not least, the airlines, » he said. The international bodies, along with airlines and CAAs will be at Aviation Africa in force. Day said that the African SAR scene is especially compelling, both in its long-continuing dysfunction and its scope for vast and rapid improvement.

« The maritime SAR community has shown we aviation-types the way to better organisation by consolidating its many state Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (RCCs), many of which were previously desperately dysfunctional, into five regional RCCs. We in aviation could easily do the same if the industry’s will was to be so inclined, » he said. « The time is now overdue for us to commit to an Africa-wide organisation of aviation RCCs that are seamlessly knit together into a single system of SAR excellence. « Just as a single sky gives prospect of improved commercial options, so a single SAR sky would provide a safety net able to ensure that when an airline catastrophe occurs over the continent, it will not be grossly magnified and ineffectually broadened by wholesale SAR incompetence, » he said. (africanaerospace)

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