Search & Rescue

Search is the operation normally coordinated by a Rescue Coordination Centre or Rescue Sub-Centre using available personnel and facilities to locate persons in distress whereas Rescue is the operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs, and deliver them to a place of safety.

Each state is responsible for provision of SAR services under the obligations of Chicago convention. In Pakistan, the responsibility has been vested into Pakistan CAA under PCAA/PAA Ordinance 2021.

The Search and Rescue in Pakistan is provided by interfacing civil and military facilities available to support such operations. The SAR operations are mainly conducted through the support of:

  • Pakistan Air Force (PAF);
  • Pakistan Army;
  • Pakistan Navy;
  • Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA);
  • Pakistan Rangers;
  • Pakistan Coast Guards (PCG);
  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA);
  • Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs); and
  • Other Associated Agencies


The objective of SAR is to:

  • Afford assistance to aircraft in emergency;
  • Alleviate human sufferings and save lives by giving high priority; and
  • Locate, provide necessary care, including emergency medical care, and evacuate persons in distress by:
    • Using the most effective methods;
    • With the least elapsed time;
    • In the safest way; and
  • Best efforts shall be made to locate aid and rescue the victims with utmost thrift and speed.


SAR mission will have priority over every other activity, except other, more serious life threatening emergencies. Upon receipt of request, every Authority, Department of (jurisdiction) will provide all equipment, supplies, human resource and facilities necessary to meet the above stated objectives.

Area of Responsiblity

There are two Search and Rescue Regions (SRRs) in Pakistan namely Karachi and Lahore SRRs. The boundaries of Karachi and Lahore SRRs coincide with Karachi and Lahore FIRs and in each SRR, Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) have been established to co-ordinate for SAR.

Phone No.
Fax No.
Administrative Single Point of Contact (ASPOCS)
Additional Director SAR, HQCAA, Terminal-1 Jinnah Int’l Airport Karachi, Pakistan – Postal code-75200.
Point of Contact (POC), Karachi (RCC)
SAR Mission Coordinator Karachi RCC, Near Pehalwan Goth, Area Control Center Radar Building, Karachi, Pakistan– Postal code-75200
+92-21-99242401 +92-21-99071977 +92-21-34601666
Point of Contact (POC), Lahore (RCC)
SAR Mission Coordinator, Lahore RCC, Area Control Center Radar Building, Allama Iqbal Int’l Airport, Lahore, Pakistan
+92-42-99240624 +92-42-990312921 -22-23-25
Point of Contact Rescue Sub Center, Islamabad (RSC)
SAR Mission Coordinator, (RSC) New Islamabad Int’l Airport Islamabad
No.+92-51-9282009 +92-51-9252007-8
Point of Contact at All PCAA Airports
Chief Operating Officers (COO) / Airport Managers (APM), Designated SAR Officer (Ground SAR Unit).

COSPAS-SARSAT system provides RCCs/RSC with Satellite aided tracking of Aircraft’s Emergency Signal Beacon i.e Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT).

Pakistan is a member of the International COSPAS-SARSAT Program. Local User Terminal and Mission Control Centre located at SUPARCO HQs Karachi provides information to RCCs and RSC and covers whole airspace of Pakistan SAR Regions (SRR).

Both RCCs (Karachi and Lahore) and RSC (Islamabad) are equipped with COSPAS-SARSAT system which is in operation on H24 basis. Operation Room of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) is responsible for SAR over the territorial waters and High sea area under delegation to Pakistan, is also equipped with COSPAS-SARSAT system.


RCCs Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad RSC are interconnected via hotlines. A reliable communication network exists between RCCs and other PCAA units as well as with appropriate organizations to ensure effective co-ordination during SAR operation. Additionally Satellite communication facility is also available at RCCs and RSC.

Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority | All rights reserved | Last updated December, 2022