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KUCHING, Oct 18: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) held its fourth biennial full-scale disaster exercise today for the Kuching International Airport (KIA) here involving 800 participants ranging from volunteers to emergency response agency personnel.
KIA manager Jun Iskandar Murshidi said this exercise was in compliance with the requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) for all airports in Malaysia to conduct full-scale disaster practice once every two years.
Apart from the exercise, he said airports are also required to conduct an annual Fire Evacuation Exercise at the main terminal building.
“The exercise scenario involved an aircraft from a fictional Brotherhood Airlines A320-300 flight number XX1233 with registration number 9M-KLMU carrying 120 passengers, where six were flight crew.
“The aircraft from Penang skidded while landing at KIA, causing it to crash at grid map echo 13 through Runway 25,” Jun told a press conference.
He said the exercise involved 800 personnel from 11 agencies including the Police, CAAM, Ministry of Health, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Ministry of Transport, Customs Department, Malaysia Red Crescent, Royal Malaysian Air Force Fire Service and St John Ambulance.
Jun added that the exercise was a success as the response time by each agencies and completion of their duties were well within the satisfactory level.
Jun also said in the event of similar incidents happening in Kuching, family members, relatives or friends of victims can go to the Family and Friend Reception Centre (FFRC) at the main KIA terminal near the International Arrival gate, or call KIA Information Centre at 082-454242.
Meanwhile according to a press release, Kota Kinabalu International Airport also conducted a full-scale disaster exercise two weeks ago.
It said the exercise was the best way to ensure all MAHB airports’ readiness in facing disasters as real life re-enactment of the situation was involved to further evaluate the effectiveness of its Airport Emergency Plan (AEP).
The AEP is a documentation that encompasses contingency plans to achieve coordinated actions through defined guidelines to the general functions and responsibilities of operational units at airports, government agencies and airlines in the event of an actual airport emergency.
MAHB acting group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin in a statement said as of September this year KIA had registered 4 million passengers — a 7.9 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
“With the numbers climbing every year, holding a full-scale exercise this time around is timely. It is important to ensure all parties are well equipped and trained to deal with a crisis.
“Through thorough practice, we hope that the actions by the relevant parties are consistent as well as carried out in a safe and concerted manner,” he said.
Raja Azmi pointed out that the coordination of responsibilities and communications between the agencies should also be tested for further improvements.
“In fact, prior to the full-scale exercise, all mentioned agencies convened in a tabletop exercise to align various Standard Operating Procedures (SOP),” — DayakDaily