Review of Oversight of Search and Rescue (SAR) Aviation Operations in Ireland

The Terms of Reference for the review were as follows:

“AAIU recommendation:

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, as the issuing authority for the Irish National Maritime Search and Rescue Framework, should carry out a thorough review of SAR aviation operations in Ireland to ensure that there are appropriate processes, resources and personnel in place to provide effective, continuous, comprehensive and independent oversight of all aspects of these operations.

In carrying out the review as described in the AAIU’s interim statement of 14 March 2018, the reviewer should focus in particular on:

  • the specific reports, audits and frameworks highlighted in the AAIU’s interim statement in relation to oversight arrangements for Search and Rescue (SAR) aviation operations, including any follow-up actions arising from these;
  • the practices and procedures in place for oversight of SAR aviation operations within the IAA, as the national aviation regulator and the Irish Coast Guard, as the tasking authority for SAR aviation operations, and any other entities deemed relevant, and benchmark these in terms of their effectiveness, continuity, comprehensiveness and independence against models of best practice internationally (ideally using analogous models of SAR provision);
  • the legal basis underpinning the oversight roles related to SAR aviation operations;
  • the resourcing of these roles and processes within each organisation.

Based on a thorough review of these and any other issues determined by the Reviewer as relevant to the AAIU recommendation, the review should:

  • identify any gaps or lack of clarity in terms of roles, legal vires, processes, training, resources and/or personnel within these organisations to carry out their oversight of SAR aviation operations; and
  • make recommendations on practical measures to address these to ensure oversight arrangements for SAR aviation operations in Ireland measure up to international best practice in terms of effectiveness, continuity, comprehensiveness and independence.


Initial Publication Date: 
Friday, 21 September 2018