Canadian Arctic Search and Rescue Responsibilities
– June 2011
Aerial SAR and the Arctic Council Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical & Maritime Search and Rescue in
On 12 May 2011, Canada signed on to a binding treaty on Arctic search and rescue along with the other seven
members of the Arctic Council. Prior to this new Arctic Council SAR treaty, Canadians' obligations to
perform search and rescue were largely dictated by agreements through the UN (eg: ICAO). That has now changed. It is
time to review Arctic SAR.
As regular CASR readers will be aware, the sole, full-time Canadian
Air Force presence in the Arctic consists of four Twin Otters based at Yellowknife with 440(T) Squadron. Although capable, the old CC-138s
are not dedicated SAR 'assets'. Aside from ground searches by the Canadian Rangers, military SAR contibutions will
either be fortuitously in the Arctic on exercise or flown up North.