Many IMRF members either work with aviation assets in maritime SAR operations, or are responsible for providing aviation SAR services. And yet there is no formal international benchmark to ensure quality, safety and consistency of aviation SAR standards. 

In addition, those who are working with aviation assets in SAR operations have not always had any formal training on how to work with those assets safely and effectively.

IMRF is considering the establishment of an IMRF Aviation SAR Panel, to promote harmonised international standards and recommended practices, both for the provision of aviation SAR services and for those who work with, or task, aviation SAR assets.

The Panel would help to identify and address inconsistencies in aviation SAR safety and effectiveness standards and raise awareness of potential weaknesses in SAR aviation operations and organisational structures, with a view to enhancing the aviation SAR safety environment.

The Panel would meet virtually and would provide a forum for members to share their experience of working with SAR aviation assets, identify challenges and establish some basic principles as a foundation for safe and effective working practices.

It could also contribute to the harmonisation of global approaches to the provision of SAR services and could make a significant difference to better practice and improved SAR outcomes.

The issue of what can be done to influence the quality, safety and consistency of international aviation SAR standards will be one of the topics considered at the European Regional Meeting on 15 October 2020.