HONG KONG, 2015-12-16 — /Travel PR News/ — Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) successfully conducted its annual aircraft crash and rescue exercise this morning, proving its readiness and effectiveness in handling potential contingencies. This is the first time that the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) has staged a large-scale air and sea rescue exercise with Government Flying Service and Marine Department at the West Quay, utilising the West Sea Rescue Berth.
Over 1,000 representatives and volunteers from more than 100 government departments, organisations and universities took part in the exercise. Some of the volunteers were recruited to simulate passengers, meeters and greeters, as well as journalists. Hong Kong Express Airways was the participating airline this year.
The exercise started at 0341hrs when a simulated arriving plane with 136 passengers and crew onboard overshot the North Runway at HKIA upon landing and veered left into the sea.
Responding to the incident, personnel at the Air Traffic Control Tower triggered the crash alarm. The Airport Fire Contingent immediately deployed 6 fire and rescue vessels, 11 ambulance vehicles and 19 fire appliances to the West Sea Rescue Berth, while the Government Flying Service sent a helicopter to the site to search for and rescue passengers and crew in the water. The Airport Emergency Centre was also activated to facilitate close communications and effective coordination between departments and organisations.
A total of 62 simulated injuries and 10 simulated deaths were reported in the exercise. Injured passengers and crew members were rescued and transferred to six participating hospitals. The uninjured were sent to the Passenger Reception Centre for Immigration, Police and Customs clearance before being reunited with their families and relatives at the Family Reception Centre set up in an airport hotel.
A simulated press conference was jointly held by the AA, Civil Aviation Department, Fire Services Department, Hong Kong Police Force and Hong Kong Express Airways. Over 20 journalism students from Hong Kong Baptist University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chu Hai College of Higher Education, the University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Shue Yan University acted as reporters following up on the incident. The exercise stood down at 0830hrs.
Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of the AA, said, “At HKIA, safety is our top priority. The annual crash exercise provides an excellent opportunity for the airport community to test its contingency measures during an emergency situation under a stressful, real-time environment.”
“The exercise today went smoothly, fully testing the airport community’s preparedness for contingency response and coordination. All participating parties have gained valuable experience, particularly in managing mass casualties and evacuations, as well as dealing with water rescues around the airport island,” added Mr Lam.
In addition to the annual crash exercise required by aerodrome licensing requirements, HKIA conducts over 100 drills, exercises and training seminars covering various aspects of operational safety every year. These cover a variety of scenarios including severe weather, system failures, equipment malfunctions, public health incidents, as well as fires and security issues.
Active participants in today’s exercise included: (in alphabetical order)
Auxiliary Medical Service
Civil Aviation Department
Customs and Excise Department
Department of Health (Airport Port Health Office)
Fire Services Department (Airport Fire Contingent; Ambulance Command)
Government Flying Service
Home Affairs Department
Hong Kong Police Force (Airport District/ Marine Police)
Information Services Department
Aviation Security Company Limited
New World First Ferry Services Limited
Hong Kong Aviation Ground Services Limited
Hong Kong Express Airways Limited
Raffles Medical Group
Regal Airport Hotel
Civil Aid Service
Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps
Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi & Haking Wong Campuses)
Hong Kong Red Cross
Chu Hai College of Higher Education
Hong Kong Baptist University
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Hong Kong St. John Ambulance
Hospital Authority and the following public hospitals:
• Caritas Medical Centre
• Kwong Wah Hospital
• North Lantau Hospital
• Princess Margaret Hospital
• Queen Elizabeth Hospital
• Yan Chai Hospital
Kwoon Chung Motors Co Ltd
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The University of Hong Kong
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SOURCE: Airport Authority Hong Kong