Published on : Friday, March 17, 2017
A multi-scenario typhoon preparedness exercise, “Summer Blow 2017″, was completed at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) earlier today, simulating various weather-related contingency situations to test the airport’s response capabilities in crowd management, baggage handling, flight rescheduling and information dissemination.
Over 400 role-playing passengers and participants from more than 25 organisations, including business partners and government departments, took part in the exercise to refresh and train staff on the airport’s contingency and business continuity plans during inclement weather.
C K Ng, Executive Director, Airport Operations, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), said, “As one of the busiest airports in the world, HKIA needs a well-prepared contingency plan in times of inclement weather to ensure safety and minimise inconveniences to passengers. This annual exercise provides a good opportunity for the entire airport community, including airlines, ground handling agents, service operators, government agencies and other airport-related organisations to familiarise themselves with the contingency plan.”
The exercise began at around midnight when the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) advised that a simulated tropical storm was approaching. In response the AA, Hong Kong Police Force, airlines, MTRC, ground handling agents and various other parties activated their respective contingency procedures. The Airport Emergency Centre was activated to coordinate with various parties and manage potential disruptions. In addition, the Flight Information Display System was updated to display the latest information on the simulated typhoon and its impact on flights. A special baggage handling arrangement was also put in place to transfer misconnected bags to a designated area.
When the simulated weather conditions worsened, higher typhoon signals were hoisted and more flights were affected, the AA and airlines worked closely together to activate flight rescheduling. In the terminals, airport staff deployed crowd management contingency measures to assist role-playing passengers waiting at check-in aisles. Staff set up designated counters and displays for airline ground staff to reconfirm flight bookings with passengers. The AA and airlines also tested their communication procedures to keep members of the public up to date on the latest flight situations.