Managing Search and Rescue times (SARTIME) and cancelling them at the end of a flight is a critical responsibility of pilots in command. It ensures that Airservices and emergency response authorities such as the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) know that you’ve arrived safely. It also prevents unnecessary search and rescue operations – a highly resource intensive, and at times costly, process.
Each year, around 9,000 SARTIMEs expire without being cancelled by pilots. Up to 1800 of these are passed on to the JRCC when pilots cannot be contacted by Airservices. The JRCC may subsequently alert and dispatch search and rescue teams.
However, the reality is that very few expired SARTIMES are the result of an aircraft in distress. Most are simply because pilots forget to extend or cancel their SARTIME prior to expiry.
Don’t become the target of an unnecessary search and rescue effort. Set the alarm on your watch or mobile phone for your SARTIME minus 5 minutes. That way, five minutes before your SARTIME is due to expire, you’ll get a reminder to ring Airservices.
You can cancel your SARTIME through NIS lodge and cancel a VFR SARTIME or by calling CENSAR on 1800 814 931.
Airservices has produced a printable ‘SARTIME management’ fact sheet, ‘SARTIMEs Frequently Asked Questions’, ‘SARTIME minus 5’ poster and sticker, which will assist you to manage your SARTIME.