Jump to Content

Provision of assistance to aircraft in distress

Issue number: AO-2012-130-SI-01
Who it affects: Aeroplane and helicopter search and rescue (SAR) service providers
Issue owner: Airservices Australia, Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Operation affected: Aviation: Other
Background: Investigation Report AO-2012-130
Date: 19 December 2013

Safety issue description

Though airborne search and rescue service providers were regularly tasked to provide assistance to pilots in distress, there was limited specific guidance on the conduct of such assistance.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Airservices Australia
Action number: AO-2012-130-NSA-025
Date: 19 December 2013
Action status: Closed

Following notification of the safety issue by the ATSB, on 11 October 2013 Airservices Australia advised that:

In response to the incident, Airservices conducted a managerial review of In-Flight Emergency Response (IFER) procedures. The review identified potential opportunities for improvement relating to the operational interface and transfer of responsibility between Airservices and AMSA [the Australian Maritime Safety Authority] (i.e. ATC [air traffic control] and SAR [search and rescue] aircraft). As a result Airservices and AMSA have agreed to conduct a comprehensive review of the existing MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] to ensure the effectiveness of collaborative Airservices-AMSA IFERs. The review is anticipated to be completed by the end of Q1 2014 [the first quarter of calendar year 2014].

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Action number: AO-2012-130-NSA-026
Date: 19 December 2013
Action status: Closed

Following notification of the safety issue by the ATSB, on 14 November 2013 the Australian Maritime Safety Authority advised that:

AMSA and Airservices have agreed to conduct a comprehensive review of their existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), including the air traffic service requirements for support from Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft, to ensure the effectiveness of collaborative in-flight emergency responses. The review is anticipated to be completed during the first quarter of 2014.

AMSA will also update its SAR procedures manual in consultation with Airservices and if appropriate will issue updated guidance on communications between SAR aircraft and the air traffic service.

ATSB response:

The ATSB is satisfied that a joint review of inter-agency agreements, with a focus on coordination of in-flight emergency responses and communication, should lead to improvements that adequately address the safety issue. The ATSB will continue to monitor the safety issue.

   
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
 
Share this page Comment
Last update 13 January 2014