JAA TO and RASARAC Sign Landmark Memorandum of Understanding



Skopje, North Macedonia. 08 November 2023 – The JAA Training Organisation (JAA TO) and the Regional Aeronautical Search and Rescue Advisory Committee (RASARAC) today announce the signing of a pivotal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on development and provision of specialised Search and Rescue (SAR) training. This MoU establishes a structured framework for cooperation and coordination, fostering enhancements in SAR operations across the signatory States of RASARAC. The Chairman of RASARAC’s Working Group on SAR Training Mr. Nikola Šarancčić will present the MoU to the 18th Steering Board Meeting of RASARAC.

Next to the JAA TO, represented by its CEO, Mrs Paula V. de Almeida, the signatory States are:

  1. the Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Albania, represented by its Executive Director, Mr Maksim ET’HEMAJ;
  2. the Directorate of Civil Aviation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, represented by its Harmonization Expert, Mr Lazar GALIĆ;
  3. the Civil Aviation Administration of the Republic of Bulgaria, represented by its Director General, Ms Anelia MARINOVA;
  4. the Civil Protection Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, represented by its Director General, Mr Damir TRUT;
  5. the Civil Aviation Agency of Montenegro, represented by its Deputy Director, Mr Renato BRKANOVIĆ;
  6. the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia, represented by its Director General, Mr Tomislav TUNTEV;
  7. the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia, represented by its Director, Ms Mirjana ČIZMAROV;
  8. the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of the Republic of Slovakia, represented by its Acting Director General, Mr Michal HÝSEK;
  9. the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, represented by Mrs. Tatjana ČRNOLOGAR, Aviation Inspector

Under this MoU, both JAA TO and RASARAC signatory States pledge to harmonising and strengthen international cooperation and especially regional cooperation for the efficient organisation and conduct of aeronautical SAR operations and associated training elevating the standards and efficiency of SAR activities. Consistent with the MoU, all activity is in full compliance with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in the area of SAR, set out in Annex 12 of the Chicago Convention and further developed in the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual (IAMSAR) and other related SAR documents.

The MoU signifies a shared commitment to bolstering SAR services through joint efforts including the exchange of best practices and knowledge to nurture a culture of safety and effectiveness within SAR operations, and facilitating forums and workshops that will serve as platforms for dialogue and continued learning among SAR professionals.

“By formalising this collaboration with RASARAC, JAA TO reaffirms its dedication to enhancing aviation safety and promoting the highest standards of SAR services,” states Paula V. de Almeida, CEO of JAA TO. “Our combined expertise with RASARAC’s reach into the signatory States creates a synergistic relationship that will surely advance SAR operations and training, staying true to our vision of fostering a safer, more secure, and sustainable aviation future.”

Mr Tomislav Tuntev, Director General of the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia, which took over this year’s RASARAC presidency, adds: “SAR operations have become increasingly complex involving national and multinational stakeholders, airspace management, aerodrome operations, and more stressing the need for training and capacity-building solutions. With the facilitation of high-quality SAR training and future improvements of SAR Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) between signatory States, we respond to the evolving needs of the aviation industry, particularly in the domain of SAR, where the life-saving efforts of SAR operations mark a positive example for multilateral coordination in exceptional situations. On behalf of RASARAC, I express my gratitude to all Members who supported the drafting stages to make this MoU a success.”

To promote the improvement of SAR capabilities, facilities, services and training within the Euro-Region and adjacent regions, accordingly, the Regional SAR Committee expresses the wish to pursue cooperation with EUROCONTROL, the ICAO EUR-NAT Office, the JRCC Larnaca, the JAA TO and other aeronautical international organisations willing to support the objectives and activities of the Committee.


About Regional Aeronautical Search and Rescue Advisory Committee (RASARAC):

RASARAC was formed in 2016 at the initiative of CAD Serbia with the full support of EUROCONTROL and the ICAO EUR-NAT Office, and 10 countries participate in its work: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro and the Czech Republic, as well as the umbrella organisations: EUROCONTROL and ICAO.

Objectives of RASARAC are, among other things, mutual cooperation and support of Member States, building and development of capacities in the area of aircraft search and rescue, improvement of cross-border cooperation, as well as support in implementation of ICAO standards, regulations and procedures in this area.



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About JAA TO

The JAA Training Organisation (JAA TO) is a Dutch non-profit organisation and the Associated Body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). JAA TO has a history of 50+ years training the aviation industry and national authorities on regulation in the air transport sector. JAA TO is the only Platinum Training Centre of Excellence (TCE) in Europe recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). JAA TO is an IATA Dangerous Goods CBTA Centre of Excellence, an ACI World Accredited Training Partner, recognized Dutch National Aviation Security Training Centre and a leading member of the EASA Virtual Academy (EVA).

JAA TO schedules more than 300 training courses annually on topics such as safety, security, drones and management. Within the aviation community, JAA TO offers a platform to learn and exchange views on latest regulatory developments. In addition, JAA TO provides advisory services, knowledge solutions, training consultancy and assistance with capacity building for (aviation) training departments.