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Qatar’s airport demonstrates its emergency preparedness



DOHA, Qatar – Hamad International Airport (HIA) successfully conducted its Emergency Exercise ‘Delta Oryx 2017’ on 11 May 2017 in Doha. The full-scale emergency exercise, which is held by the airport every two years to test the activation and functionality of its emergency facilities, was conducted in coordination with more than 28 government agencies, stakeholders and partners including Qatar Airways.

Delta Oryx 2017 was the first HIA emergency exercise that placed focus on testing the airport’s preparedness for handling an aircraft accident outside of airport premises, simulating a crash landing into the sea. The scale, complexity and realism of the activity were carefully designed to bring to light any latent deficiency or gap in the emergency facilities at HIA and throughout Qatar.

The emergency simulation included the use of a 30-seater mock aircraft, 2 Qatar Airways aircraft chutes, 170 volunteer passengers, 60 volunteer family members and friends, 39 dummies to display casualties, 40 ambulance response vehicles, 3 military helicopters, 5 airport safety and security vehicles and 10 Mowasalat buses.

The exercise also tested specialized forces’ arrangements for rescue at sea including the Coastguard, Internal Security Forces, Qatar Navy and the Qatar Emiri Air Force. HIA’s ‘Delta Oryx 2017’ seamlessly interfaced with Qatar Airways’ annual emergency exercise and Hamad Medical Corporation’s emergency exercise of activating all public hospitals and selected primary health care facilities in Qatar.

Commenting on the HIA’s successful completion of the emergency exercise, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport, said: “We at HIA strive for excellence in everything we do, including our preparedness in a crisis, which is why this exercise, being HIA’s third full-scale exercise, simulated an aircraft incident at sea, not within the confines of the airport.

The HIA emergency exercises have grown to become joint national exercises involving all major ministries, government agencies and stakeholders. Delta Oryx 2017 is the product of many hours of planning, preparation and hard work from all our stakeholders and partners and I extend our sincere gratitude to them all.”

In accordance with the requirements established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), airports are required to hold an emergency exercise every two years to fulfil their licensing requirements. As an airport directly located beside the sea, HIA is also required by ICAO international regulations to ensure adequate emergency procedures are in place in the event that occupants are to be rescued from an aircraft that has crashed into the sea.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.