The IMRF began its focus on the aviation sector of search and rescue on 14 May as it hosted its first-ever webinar that highlighted the complexities and challenges involved in this continually developing area of the SAR industry.

The webinar, which had more than 80 members of the SAR community join, focused on the soon to be implemented, ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS), which enables Air Traffic Service and Rescue Coordination Centres to detect and track aircraft in distress, identify the accurate location of end of flight, retrieve Flight Recorder Data, and implement effective SAR operations and accident investigation procedures. 

Hosted by Roly McKie, the IMRF’s IMO Representative and SAR Advisor, the webinar included a presentation by Scott Constable, Principal Advisor for Aviation Policy at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and a member of the ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue.

Following Scott’s presentation, Roly then discussed the importance of the IMRF getting involved in aviation SAR, noting that aircraft that are in distress often end up in the sea and thus become a maritime operation.  

As part of this, the IMRF is forming an Aviation Panel of IMRF member organisations from the aviation SAR community, including rescue organisations, companies, and suppliers, to enable participants to present on and discuss aviation SAR subjects and topics, share ideas, showcase technologies, and develop international best practices that the IMRF then present to the global SAR community and represent to the international bodies that govern maritime and aviation.  The first SAR Aviation Panel meeting is on the 28 May 13:30pm-15:30pm (UK local time). You can find out more about the Aviation panel and how to join it here.

The Panel is open to IMRF members only and is another benefit of IMRF membership.  If you are not an IMRF member and would like to join the IMRF go to this page to find out how to join us!

You can rewatch the webinar in full here: