Aviation in New Zealand and Oceania

Cobham search and rescue jet takes off for AMSA

The world’s most technologically advanced civil search-and-rescue aircraft was launched yesterday by Cobham for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

The first of four specially-modified Bombardier Challenger CL-604 aircraft commences operations today on the first day of Cobham’s 12-year contract with AMSA.

Peter Nottage, Chief Executive of Cobham Aviation Services, said the new aircraft will significantly enhance airborne search-and-rescue tasks with faster response times, extended range and considerably longer presence in Australia’s search and rescue region using the latest generation search sensors and providing much-advanced communications with AMSA’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra.

“The technology on board this aircraft will enable AMSA’s Search and Rescue officers to be virtual crew members for the first time ever, with eyes and ears at the scene as events unfold,” Mr Nottage said.

“This is a quantum leap for Australia’s airborne search and rescue capability and will ultimately benefit people whose lives and safety are at risk on land or at sea.”

“It is the culmination of a complex and challenging program of work and is testament to the quality and skills of Cobham’s people and the excellence of our suppliers and partners here in Australia and abroad. It underscores the capability and sophistication of Australian technology and workers.”

The first aircraft will be based in Cairns. Two others will be based in Melbourne and Perth, with the fourth in Melbourne as a back-up aircraft.

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