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CAD search and rescue exercise (with photos)

     The Civil Aviation Department (CAD), together with the Government Flying Service (GFS), the Marine Department (MD), the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison and the Rescue and Salvage Bureau of the Ministry of Transport, jointly conducted a long range search and rescue exercise (SAREX) today (December 15) at a location approximately 50 nautical miles east of Hong Kong in the South China Sea.

     "The exercise simulated an arriving passenger aircraft disappearing from the radar screen after entering the Hong Kong Flight Information Region. Having assessed the situation, the CAD immediately initiated the established procedures and co-ordinated with the relevant units to carry out the search and rescue (SAR) operation at the most probable areas in search of the aircraft," a spokesman for the Department said.

     "The simulation took place outside Hong Kong waters. Against this backdrop, apart from a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft of the GFS, the Garrison and the Rescue and Salvage Bureau also deployed two helicopters and two vessels in total to take part in the SAR operation," he added.

     Over 300 representatives from relevant government departments and organisations took part in the exercise, which began at 9am and lasted for about four hours. During the exercise, the MD and the HKO rendered help in issuing a navigational warning message and providing weather data and forecasts.

     In line with the requirement of Annex 12 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, a Contracting State/Administration is obliged to provide search and rescue services within its designated search and rescue region. The CAD organises SAREX from time to time to strengthen co-operation and co-ordination with other search and rescue units in SAR operations.

     "We will continue to conduct exercises with relevant government departments, organisations and stakeholders to provide pilots, air traffic controllers, aircrew and other related units likely to be involved in such operations with continued training to refresh their SAR techniques, so as to ensure a quick and effective SAR response in case of an emergency," the spokesman said.

Ends/Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:02


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