Designed to improve upon traditional search-and-rescue (SAR) methods through the use of GPS tracking devices, eSRS incorporates satellite communications technology into traditional flight service activities.
The Special Reporting Service is an established program that tracks pilots operating in hazardous areas by maintaining frequent contact on the radio. eSRS expands that program to include position reporting via satellites instead of VHF radios, using lightweight electronics carried in the aircraft. eSRS does not replace a flight plan; instead, it allows pilots to augment and enhance the benefits of a VFR or IFR flight plan.
Adding value for Alaskan pilots on SAR missions
According to TracPlus' CEO Trevor McIntyre, the approval of the RockAir into the eSRS program will enable better safety outcomes for Alaskan pilots who operate in some of the most remote parts of the world.
“eSRS is already a fantastic value-added SAR service for Alaskan pilots. With the RockAir tracking and communications device, we’re excited to offer higher-frequency tracking (as often as every 15 seconds) at a lower cost than existing providers.
“In addition to the standard eSRS benefit of reducing response time to distress calls in comparison to flight plan alone, the TracPlus system has the potential to massively increase safety by reducing the average search radius in the event of an accident from 50 square miles to just less than one square mile. As the global platform of choice for remote multi-asset tracking and communication, TracPlus is excited to be able to better extend our world-class service to more operators in Alaska.”
Does not track aircraft during routine operations
He adds that enrolment into the eSRS program does not allow the Flight Service Station (FSS) to track an aircraft’s location during routine operations.
“The FSS is only interested in providing faster, more efficient search-and-rescue services and does not know the specifics of a flight beyond what’s put in a flight plan. Only when an emergency distress notification is generated from the RockAir will the FSS get a notification about the location of the aircraft in distress,” McIntyre said.
Late last year, McIntyre discussed the unprecedented events the world, and the helicopter industry, faces. He said: “We want to assure you that in the face of adversity, your safety and support remains, as always, our top priority.”