AIC finds significant deficiency by State to provide effective and efficient search and rescue support

The Chief Commissioner of the PNG Accident Investigation Commission (AIC),  Hubert Namani announced yesterday that the AIC’s investigations into three recent accidents are also examining and analysing evidence in relation to the post-accident survival aspects.

The investigations include the location of the occupants in relation to injuies sustained and the post-accident search and rescue activities.

The three accidents involved: a Bell 427 helicopter registered P2-HSG that impacted water over a reef, about 3.1 nautical miles north west of Baluma township, West New Britain Province on 11th August 2019.

The other is an Air Tractor AT-502B aircraft registered P2-SET that impacted trees near the Era River, about 6.8 nautical miles north west of Baimuru Airstrip, Gulf Province on 29th August 2019.

A third one is a BK117 C-1 helicopter registered P2-TAH that impacted the water approximately 0.9 nautical miles seaward of the coast about 4 nautical miles south east of Silur Mission, New Ireland Province on 13th September 2019.

Mr. Namani said “each of the investigations have found a common significant deficiency in the ability for the State to provide effective and efficient search and rescue support to the aviation industry and the travelling public as required by the Civil Aviation Act 2000 (as Amended), Civil Aviation Rule Part 176, and Annex 12 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

“On the 9th of July 2018, the Minister for Civil Aviation delegated the responsibility for the establishment of a search and rescue coordination centre (SAR RCC) to PNG Air Services Limited (PNGASL) on behalf of the State and also issued a Directive to PNGASL to operate and maintain the SAR RCC established under Section 8A (1) (b) and (c) of the Civil Aviation Act 2000 (as Amended).

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