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Guidelines for the Management of Aviation Operations – Issue 6

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OEUK’s Guidelines for the Management of Aviation Operations – Issue 6

The UK fulfils international obligations by providing a maritime search and rescue service throughout the UK Search and Rescue Region (SRR). These obligations are devolved by the Department for Transport (DfT) through the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) to HM Coastguard’s network of Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs). HM Coastguard has overall responsibility for coordinating the response to a maritime incident utilising appropriate rescue assets to secure, where possible, a positive outcome. If the response requires airborne support, the appropriate MRCC will be fully supported by the UK Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC). In the context of this document, SAR incidents occurring on, at or near an offshore installation will be treated by HM Coastguard as a maritime incident.

The UK also fulfils international obligations by providing a civil aeronautical search and rescue service throughout the UK SRR – including the UKCS. These obligations are devolved by DfT via the Ministry of Defence; responsibility for the tasking and coordination of National aeronautical SAR activities rests with the ARCC. In the context of this document, ARCC would have responsibility for coordinating the response to a public transport helicopter emergency while en route. In the event of a helicopter ditching or forced landing, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ARCC and HM Coastguard outlines who will co-ordinate the overall response.

Initially, this will be the RCC which first receives the information – subsequently, the RCC best placed to exercise overall coordination.

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