The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) the State Corporation in charge of regulating the Aviation industry and providing Air Navigation Services today conducted a successful Multi-Government Agency Search and Rescue drill.
The Aviation Search and Rescue Exercise dubbed OKOA MAISHA ASAREX 2019, was aimed at assessing the State’s level of preparedness in coordination, communication, command and control of the National Aeronautical Search and Rescue system in responding to an aviation incident or accident. Additionally, the exercise sought to address any gaps within the current Standard Operating Procedures in order to ensure a swift emergency response, optimal use of resources and improve efficiency within Kenya’s aviation search and rescue system.
Government Agencies that took part in the planning and execution of the exercise include KCAA as overall coordinator, National Police Service, Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Meteorological Department, National Disaster Operations Centre, Kenya Wildlife Services, Ministry of Health, Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Airways.
Speaking at the end of the exercise, KCAA Director General Capt. Gilbert M. Kibe said, “The exercise will help us gauge the preparedness of the Government Agencies that are part of the National Aeronautical Search and Rescue system in responding to an aviation incident or accident, with the aim of improving efficiency in response time in any search and rescue mission.”
“Additionally, this exercise being the first of its kind in the region was meticulously planned for over a year. The planning process involved communication and desktop exercises culminating in the full-scale drill with independent evaluators on board.The
lessons learned will address any gaps within the search and rescue system which shall go a long way in ensuring rapid and reliable search and rescue services in Kenya,” he added.
Search and Rescue (SAR) entails locating a missing or lost aircraft and provision of assistance to persons who are in distress or immediate danger after an air crash. Search and Rescue may take many forms, depending on the size or complexity of the operation, capability and specialization of available personnel, equipment and facilities.