Australia sponsors improvements to global aviation search and rescue

Media Release

WT221/2014

31 October 2014

An Australian Government appointed aviation search and rescue expert has been appointed to the global aviation safety body, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to contribute to improving standards and recommended practices in search and rescue.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said Australia's expertise in both aviation and maritime search and rescue is unsurpassed in the world.

“Our national expertise and recent experience with the MH370 search gives us unique insights into the challenges of complex search and rescue operations,” Mr Truss said.

Mr Truss said an ICAO Working Group established in response to the disappearance of MH370 earlier this year recognised areas where improvements could be made to better integrate search and rescue into air navigation and distress alerting systems.

“The expertise of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will be used to assist ICAO with improvements to search and rescue system capability and coordination globally,” he said.

“AMSA will provide an aeronautical search and rescue expert to help ICAO improve the effectiveness of search and rescue activities across national and regional boundaries.

“AMSA will share its expertise and experience to identify and implement improvements in air navigation services, in particular between stakeholders involved in search and rescue coordination.”

The Australian Government remains fully committed to the search for MH370, and remains cautiously optimistic that the aircraft will be located despite the challenges of the search task.