Canada announces new measures to improve SAR capabilties

28 July 2015 (Last Updated July 28th, 2015 18:30)

The Government of Canada has revealed a series of measures aimed to improve capabilities of the country's search-and-rescue (SAR) system.

The Government of Canada has revealed a series of measures aimed to improve capabilities of the country’s search-and-rescue (SAR) system.

Announced by defence minister Jason Kenney and public safety and emergency preparedness minister Steven Blaney, the measures include a $249m investment in a satellite system to enhance detection of activated emergency beacons.

Kenney said: "The government is making sure that Canada’s search and rescue capabilities continue to improve and keep up with the times.

"I am confident the measures we announced today will help keep Canadians safe and will allow SAR professionals and volunteers to do their jobs even more effectively."

"I am confident the measures we announced today will help keep Canadians safe and will allow SAR professionals and volunteers to do their jobs even more effectively."

The investment will be delivered for the medium earth orbit SAR (MEOSAR) satellite capability.

Canada will build up to 24 MEOSAR repeaters, as well as up to three ground stations to be networked internationally.

In addition, the repeaters will be equipped on the US Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites over the coming decade.

The measures also include the transfer of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat from the Department of National Defence to Public Safety Canada.

This development builds on the delivery of SAR services in Canada and will result in enhanced SAR interoperability, coordination, and prevention efforts.

Meanwhile, Transport Canada also announced new initiatives to enhance ‘Places of Refuge’ planning and to support safer travel through the Arctic.