GEN 3.6 Search and rescue

3.6.1 Responsible service

3.6.1.1 Search and Rescue Operations for civil aviation within the Emirates FIR are co-ordinated through the National Search and Rescue Centre.
3.6.1.2 National Search and Rescue Centre contact details:
3.6.1.2.1 Postal address:
Post:National Search and Rescue Centre
P.O. Box 110888
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
3.6.1.2.2 Telephone: +971 2 449 6866, Toll-Free: 800 UAE SAR
3.6.1.2.3 Telefax: +971 2 449 6844
3.6.1.2.4 AFTN: OMAEYCYX
3.6.1.3 The UAE Search and Rescue service is based upon ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices as contained in the following publications:
  1. A Decree by Federal Law no. (4) for 2013.

  2. CAR PART VIII - SUBPART 8 - Search and Rescue Service Regulations.

  3. Annex 12: Search and Rescue.

  4. Doc 7030: Regional Supplementary Procedures for Alerting and Search and Rescue Services applicable in the Middle East / Asia Region.

  5. Doc 9731: International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manuals Volume 1, 2 and 3.

  6. Doc 4444: Air Traffic Management

3.6.1.4 Any differences to Standards and Recommended Practices are published in GEN 1.7.

3.6.2 Area of responsibility

3.6.2.1 The search and rescue service is responsible for the co-ordination between Air Traffic Service Units providing search and rescue alerting services and agencies with search and rescue capabilities for civil aviation within the Emirates FIR.

3.6.3 Type of service

3.6.3.1 The UAE Mission Control Centre (MCC) provides distress alert detection of Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) using the Cospas-Sarsat Satellite Aided Tracking System. This system is able to detect 406.000 MHZ beacons globally and the information is shared with the other users of the system. A database of the UAE registered aviation beacons is available at the MCC.
3.6.3.2 The UAE MCC is commissioned by the Cospas-Sarsat organisation to conduct SAR distress beacon monitoring. The National Search and Rescue Centre is the governing organisation and point of contact for the MCC.
3.6.3.3 Users of 406.000 MHZ beacons that are coupled with 121.500 MHZ will be able to use 121.500 MHZ for homing purposes only by search units.

3.6.4 SAR agreements

3.6.4.1 There are no SAR agreements in force permitting over-flight or entry by aircraft of other states.
3.6.4.2 Requests for the entry of aircraft, equipment and personnel from other States to engage in search for aircraft in distress or to rescue survivors of aircraft accidents should be transmitted to the National Search and Rescue Centre. Instructions as to the control which will be exercised on entry of such aircraft and / or personnel will be given by the National Search and Rescue Centre in accordance with the standing plan for the conduct of search and rescue in the area.

Note: See GEN 3.6.1.2 for contact information.

3.6.5 Conditions of availability

3.6.5.1 There are specialised agencies available on a 24 hour basis within the UAE to conduct search and rescue activities. These agencies are activated by the National Search and Rescue Centre as required.
3.6.5.2 Elements of the following organisations are available for search and rescue missions:
  • Police

  • Civil Defence

  • Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA)

  • Merchant Marine

  • Port Authorities

  • Armed Forces

3.6.5.3 The above organisations maintain their own communications networks. Additional communication services available to the search and rescue organisation include the aeronautical, maritime and public telecommunication service.
3.6.5.4 Minimum survival and lifesaving equipment carried by aircraft shall conform to the requirements specified in Annex 6.
3.6.5.5 Unwarranted operations
The National Search and Rescue Centre as the responsible centre for the co-ordination of rescue services for the Emirates FIR, reserves the right to take steps to recover expenditure, incurred either by aerodrome services or other participants involved in search and rescue operations, whenever circumstances show that operation was unwarranted.

3.6.6 Procedures and light signals used

3.6.6.1 Procedures and signals employed by aircraft are detailed in Annex 12, Chapter 5.
3.6.6.2 Procedures and signals to be used by survivors are detailed in Annex 12, Appendix A.
3.6.6.3 Communications
  1. Transmission and reception of distress messages within the Emirates Search and Rescue Region are handled in accordance with ICAO Annex 10, Volume II, Chapter 5, para 5.3.
  2. For communications during search and rescue operations, the codes and abbreviations published in ICAO Abbreviations and Codes (Doc 8400) are used.