Search and Rescue Services

Search and rescue (SAR) operations in Singapore are carried out by CAAS in collaboration with: 

• Singapore’s Ministry of Defence, 
• Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, 
• Meteorological Service of Singapore, 
• Ministry of Health, 
• Singapore Police Force,
• Singapore Civil Defence Force, 
• Changi Airport Group 
and other relevant government bodies. 

Coordination in a search and rescue operation is conducted through the Singapore Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), which is operated by CAAS and located at the Singapore Air Traffic Control Centre (SATCC). 

The address of the Singapore Rescue Coordination Centre is:

60, Biggin Hill Road
Singapore 509950
Tel: (65) 65425024 Fax: (65) 65422548
Tel: (65) 65412668 (SATCC)

The SAR services are provided in accordance with the provisions contained in the following International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and local documents:

ICAO Annex 12 Search and Rescue
ICAO Annex 13 Aircraft Accident Investigation
• ICAO Doc 7030 Regional Supplementary Procedures for Alerting and Search and Rescue Services applicable in the South East Asia Region
• ICAO Doc 9731 International Aeronautical Maritime Search and Rescue Manuals (IAMSAR)  Volume 1, 2 & 3
• Singapore Local SAR Procedures

Coordination across SAR units

CAAS is responsible for the coordination of SAR operations within the Singapore Search and Rescue Region. The Singapore RCC conducts annual search and rescue exercises to heighten our state of readiness and enhance our crisis management capabilities.

Our SAR operations are well-supported by aeronautical, maritime and public telecommunication services from the search and rescue units listed in the table below. Various elements of the Singapore Police Force and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore are also on standby for search and rescue missions. 

Search and Rescue Units





Ministry of Defence


Fixed Wing




Two Search and Locate aircraft

One Search and Rescue helicopter

One Search and Rescue helicopter

Two vessels

CAAS Airport Emergency Service

Singapore Changi Airport

RB Hovercraft

Additional maritime cover is provided by vessels from Police Coast Guard and MPA.

USAF-Pacific RCC


LRG Fixed Wing 

Under the mutual agreement, the Pacific RCC will support SAR operations when requested. 

All search aircraft are land planes which carry survival equipment consisting of inflatable rubber dinghies equipped with general purpose first aid supplies, emergency rations and survival radio equipment.

The Singapore RCC is equipped to provide Satellite-Aided Search and Rescue (COSPAS-SARSAT) service within Singapore and adjacent FIRs on 406 MHz. The system enables our Singapore RCC to detect and track aircraft in distress quickly, thus reducing search time and significantly improving survival chances.

SAR Communications

The distress frequency 121.5 MHZ is monitored continuously by Changi Control Tower, Seletar Control Tower and SATCC.

Callsigns of SAR Units:
SAR aircraft belonging to permanent Search and Rescue Units will use the following callsigns:
a. Fixed wing – "Rescue (plus a number picked from 61 to 85)"
b. Rotary wing – "Rescue (plus a number picked from 10 to 19)"

The Singapore RCC

 Duty SMC 

Tel: (65) 6542 5024

Fax: (65) 6542 2548

Port Operations Control Centre (POCC)

Duty Officer

Tel: (65) 6325 2493/94

Fax: (65) 6224 5776

GMDSS Station

Duty Officer

Tel: (65) 6226 5539

Fax: (65) 6224 5776

Mutual Assistance through SAR Agreements

Singapore has concluded SAR Agreements with Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam where mutual assistance will be extended when conducting SAR operations within each Search and Rescue region (SRR). Singapore also has a SAR agreement with the US Air Force Pacific RCC to provide assistance to each other – Singapore RCC or US vessels – when requested. A letter of understanding has been signed with Brunei too, where Singapore RCC can draw upon its resources when necessary.

Usage of Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)

An Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) refers to a piece of equipment  that may be automatically activated by impact or be manually activated. When activated, ELTs transmit distress signals on designated frequencies that can be detected by satellites, which aid in search and rescue operations.


Operators of Singapore-registered aircraft must ensure that all ELTs onboard (that are capable of transmitting on 406 MHz) are registered with CAAS.

To register, please submit this form to the Singapore Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) via email, to

Operators shall also inform the RCC immediately (via submission of the form) if there are any changes to the ELT information, for example in the following situations:

a) New ELT registration

b) De-registration of aircraft

c) Replacement of ELT

d) Change in battery expiry

e) Change in aircraft colour or livery


For testing of ELT, please request for an approval from CAAS RCC via at least 2 days in advance before the test date. The approval request shall contain the following information:

1. Aircraft Operator

2. Aircraft Registration

3. Country of Registration

4. Aircraft Type

5. Date, Start and End time of Testing

6. Location in Latitude and Longitude

7. Location via address

8. Distress Beacon ID number (expressed in the form of an alphanumerical code of 15 hexadecimal characters)

9. Frequencies transmitted

10. Name, company and contact number of person requesting the test