The meetings of the Expert Team and the Steering Board of the Regional Aeronautical Search and Rescue Advisory Committee (RASARAC) were held in the organization of the Civil Aviation Agency of Montenegro in Podgorica on November 16 and 17, 2022.
The meetings were attended by representatives of RASARAC from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, and the host country Montenegro, representatives of EUROCONTROL, a representative of the Joint Rescue and Coordination center (JRCC) Larnaca from Cyprus and Greece.
The meeting of the RASARAC Expert Team referred to the conclusions and recommendations from the previous meetings, the implementation of the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Regional Aeronautical Search and Rescue Advisory Committee, the work and results of the four Working Groups (multilateral SAR agreement, operational issues, training and oversight) and adoption of the proposal of the RASARAC Work Report in 2022.
At the meeting of the Steering Board, significant conclusions were adopted on the further work of RASARAC.
The recommendations and reports of the Working Groups were discussed and the possible dates for signing a multilateral SAR agreement in civil aviation were agreed upon. Information on the annual activities of each State in the field of search and rescue was also exchanged at the meeting.
Additionally, Director of the Civil Aviation Agency, Mr Zoran Maksimović signed with Mr Davor Spevec an Appendix to the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of RASARAC on the accession of the Civil Protection Directorate, Ministry of the Interior of Croatia to RASARAC as a full member, as well as an Appendix to the Memorandum of understanding between JRCC Larnaca and RASARAC with Mr Andreas Zacharia, in order to continue cooperation in the field of Search and Rescue with representatives of JRCC Larnaca.
The representatives of Greece expressed their interest in joining RASARAC and presented the Search and Rescue system in Greece.
During the meeting, Major General Karsten Stoye, head of the Civil-Military Cooperation Division in EUROCONTROL and Military Advisor to the Director General, presented the importance of civil-military coordination and cooperation in the field of Search and Rescue.
The representatives of the Steering Board analyzed the activities and the Work Report of RASARAC in 2022, the proposal of the Work Plan for 2023, as well as the three-year Work Plan for the period 2023-2025.
As a reminder, RASARAC was formed in 2016 at the initiative of the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia with the full support of EUROCONTROL and the ICAO EUR/NAT Office, and 10 countries participate in its work - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro and the Czech Republic, as well as the umbrella organizations in civil aviation: Eurocontrol and ICAO.
It is important to note that in January, Montenegro assumed the chairmanship of RASARAC for 2022, and that the Civil Aviation Agency organized the meeting of the Expert Team in May, and then in September, organized the Regional Workshop on Aeronautical Search and Rescue with the support of the European Commission, EUROCONTROL, ICAO, JRCC from Cyprus and MCC Cospas-Sarsat from Italy.
The participants expressed their satisfaction with the activities implemented and thanked the Civil Aviation Agency for the effort put in organizing the meetings, which brought together more than 30 participants from Montenegro and abroad.
During 2023, North Macedonia will preside over the work of RASARAC.