Cyprus inaugurates high-tech S&R centre

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Cyprus unveiled one of the most modern Joint Rescue Coordination Centre’s (JRCC) in Europe when a new facility was inaugurated in Larnaca on Monday.

Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides and Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos attended the ceremony to launch the new facility.

Petrides said in recent years, Cyprus has attributed great importance to developing a reliable and capable search and rescue system, fully aware of its maritime obligations and those under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“We can be proud for having one of the most modern centres in Europe; the ICAO considers it a model for countries that want to organise their Search and Rescue System,” said Petrides.

“The development of JRCC capabilities, with the ultimate goal to meet in the best possible way international requirements, gave it a crucial role at a national level,” he added.

He said Cyprus, being at the easternmost tip of the European Union, can play an essential role as a pillar of security and stability in the region.

“There is no doubt that one of the main mechanisms in this direction is Cyprus’ search and rescue system.”

Karousos said his ministry is responsible for the legal and international obligations of the Republic of Cyprus for Search and Rescue and the technical and financial support of the centre.

“We are confident the relocation of the centre constitutes an important step forward in our country`s effort to strengthen the state mechanism for coordination and management of humanitarian operations, both within the Nicosia FIR and in the Eastern Mediterranean in general.”

The relocated centre has the responsibility to coordinate air and sea accidents that occur in the area.

The operations room is designed to reduce the reaction time, especially in search and rescue operations.

Information can be received via satellites or radio, and staff can coordinate the incident to assist anyone at risk.