SAR & Emergency response

SAR, emergency response airport, we are part of the social safety net

SAR-helicopter SYD

Our neighbors for 20 years! In April 2020, the agreement was signed, and the Swedish Maritime Administration’s SAR helicopter SYD received a permanent home base at Kristianstad Österlen Airport.

The Swedish Maritime Administration is responsible for state maritime and air rescue services within the Swedish rescue region and cooperates with other authorities in rescue services.
At sea, they rescue people who have or are feared to have ended up in distress at sea and carry out medical transport from ships. Overland, they locate aircraft that have or are feared to have crashed and assist even when danger threatens air traffic. From April 2020, the Swedish Maritime Administration’s rescue helicopters are also, to the extent possible for their operations, assisting the healthcare system with emergency patient transports.

In 2022, the rescue helicopters carried out a total of 499 operations and we are happy to be able to contribute to such an important social function.


  • SAR-helicopter SYD is of the model AW139, manufactured by Italian Agusta WestlandThe helicopter crew consists of two pilots, a winch operator, and a surface rescuer.
  • In just 15 minutes after the alarm is received, the rescue helicopter’s crew must be dressed and ready, and the helicopter pulled out from the hangar, ready for takeoff.
  • The helicopter is alerted by the Maritime and Air Rescue Center JRCC (Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre)The base has crews on duty, ready for the call, 24 hours a day, year-round.
  • During 2022, SAR-Helicopter SYD was alerted to 115 operations and carried out 74 rescue cases.


We look forward to continuing our fine collaboration with our neighbors, assisting them in their important work, and adding our piece of the puzzle to the safety net.

Fire detecting flights

Kristianstad Österlen Airport acts as a refueling station for firefighting aircraft with home bases in other locations. One occasion was, for example, at the fire in Hästveda in 2019, when we were open for continuous refueling of, among other things, MSB’s helicopters that participated in the extensive extinguishing work. Kristianstads Flygklubb, our northern neighbor, has for several years performed fire flights, now on behalf of KSAK. When the ground gets very dry, the risk of forest fires is very high. With the help of fire planes, fires can be detected early, and emergency services can be alerted.

The social benefit

In addition to being the base for the Swedish Maritime Administration’s rescue helicopter and having missions as an emergency airport, we participate in cooperation exercises together with various community functions. For example, the airport’s fire brigade conducts regular fire drills together with other agencies within the Kristianstad Rescue Service.
But we also participate in larger joint exercises when the opportunity arises, where both ACR (the tower), police, ambulance, fire brigade, SAR, and JRCC, can train around a predetermined, specific scenario, such as in Exercise Christel 2023, but also military exercises, such as Aurora 2023. We are also here for the police, military, and coast guard when they need to refuel during missions and exercises.

The airport also contributes to the region’s attractiveness as we help put our area on the map as a vibrant region, where you can safely run a business and settle down, knowing that there are opportunities for fast communication to Stockholm. A way of traveling that also moves in an increasingly greener direction. Learn more here

Emergency response airport

Kristianstad Österlen Airport is one of 27 airports around the country that calls itself an emergency airport. Together, we form a network with good geographical distribution, which ensures good accessibility for ambulance flights and other socially important air transport.

In practice, our mission means that our Ramp/fire service and the Tower’s staff must be present within an hour to be able to handle emergency ambulance flights – around the clock, every day of the year.

An important work that we carry out with pride.