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Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority responsible to coordinate with Search and Rescue elements

Karachi, March 07, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) is responsible to coordinate with all Search and Rescue (SAR) elements in Pakistan. They are required to command and control all civil aircraft related SAR missions over vast areas of sea, desert, mountains and plains of Pakistan. To fulfil its international/national obligations, the PCAA is required to work efficiently and effectively round the clock from the Rescue Coordination Centres (RCC’s) established adjacent to Area Control Centres.

The training and exposure of human resources through exercises s considered essential. Therefore a TABLE TOP MR CO-ORDINATION EXERCISE VIGILANCE TWO was held on 07 March, 2013 (1000E) in the area of responsibility of RCC Karachi – for Karachi Right Information Region (FIR).

The aim of exercise was to check the level of preparedness for SAR operations, provide training and adequate knowledge as well as necessary experience to the concerned officials. It will also enable the managers to test and improve the operational plans; improve liaison with the concerned agencies and enhance coordination skills, It will also help CAA to meet the National obligations under Chicago Convention on International CMI Aviation and Annexes thereto.

In the opening address, the Chief Operation Officer, JIAP apprised that the Search and Rescue Operation (SAF1) is the search for and provision of lifesaving assistance to people in distress and imminent danger of loss of life. In Karachi FIR SAP arrangements are intended to complement other emergency services (local administration, police, fire, ambulance) in circumstances where those services are unable to operate effectively.

Such circumstances could include, for example, remote area operations, rescues at sea, and the reed for specialist SAR facilities not normally available to emergency services or to PCAA. Armed Forces. Para Military forces, Government, Private and Commercial assets may be diverted from their primary function by charter arrangement and request. In practice1 SAR operations are required to be conducted jointly by armed forces, public and private organizations. The purpose of this simulated exercise is to promote effective saving of lives in case of a real emergency.

The exercise began by simulation of an airliner in distress with declaration of various emergency phases. The simulated SAP units were activated as per operational plans and standard operating procedures. A timely and efficient assistance was provided by various SAR elements to successfully search, locate and rescue the casualties as well as lost and missing persons to a place of safety, the state of the art Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking System (COSPAS-SARSAT) helped in finding out the exact location to the distressed aircraft. The exercise also included the medical evacuation drill at the end.

The Director Operations I-IQCM, in his closing address thanked the participants for their whole hearted contribution in the conduct of exercise. He said that the purpose of this exercise was to exchange ideas, share experiences and opinions with SAR personnel all over Pakistan, and to identity and discuss critical issues.

He hoped that SAR Organizations have reached a higher level of understanding and awareness tor the issues concerning SAR operations, He further said that it s gratifying to note that the aim of the exercise covered SAR objective as per ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.

The presentations arid nock rescue operation further enhanced our roles and limitations in carrying out an-effective rescue operation. He said, it is time for us to bring changes in our approach towards SAR operations.

This exercise was carried out at Karachi FIR lever and we plan to enhance the scope of exercise gradually to regional level. Our coordinating agencies have the abilities and capabilities of becoming regional/global players in SAR missions. There is a dire need to conduct joint SAR exercises on a regular basis. Let us all work towards achieving this target of joining the international community in providing SAR facilities whenever needed.

For more information, contact:
Pervez George
Public Relations Manager
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
Jinnah International Airport
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: 99248770 – 99072026
Fax: 99248445
Cell: 0301-8258529

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