66 government and private agencies come together to test their coordination, capabilities, and readiness
SUBANG – Today marks the first day of the two-day Helang Merah airport emergency tabletop exercise held at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang (LTSAAS). The exercise is part of the airport’s regularly scheduled emergency exercises throughout the year and serves to assess the level of preparedness of all airport stakeholders in managing a crisis. For the Helang Merah exercise, 66 government and private agencies have come together to test out and strengthen their coordination, capabilities and readiness according to the set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) outlined in the Aerodrome Emergency Plan (AEP) document.
Malaysia Airports’ group chief executive officer (Group CEO), Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said that airports in Malaysia are gazetted as restricted areas with several categorised as a National Vital Installation Priority 1, “LTSAAS is categorised as Priority 1 and this means that it has the highest threat and impact on national security and government functions if sabotaged or destroyed, especially with the presence of major national security agencies - Royal Malaysia Police, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency here. Therefore, it is even more crucial to ensure that we are always in readiness to handle any eventualities.”
“These annual exercises help to strengthen and enhance our Aerodrome Emergency Plan which outlines detailed contingency plans including responses to safety and security threats. In the last five years, we have organised more than 300 exercises at all our airports, in accordance with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation or better known as ICAO,” he added.
He had also emphasised that although conducted virtually due to the restrictions imposed by the Movement Control Order, this in no way diminishes the exercise’s key priority which is to safeguard the airport and the wellbeing of all its passengers and stakeholders. He also explained that as a testament of the airport operator’s commitment to airport safety and security, Malaysia Airports employs a total of 4,500 Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Airport Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS) personnel throughout its entire network of airports to protect the country’s assets. At LTSAAS alone, nearly 50% out of the 300 employees is made up of AVSEC and AFRS personnel.
Included in the two-day program are webinar sessions on topics such as Challenges in Managing Aerodrome Emergencies, Crisis Management at National Vital Installation Priority 1 Locations, Evidence Chain of Custody at Aircraft Accident Sites and Disaster Management during COVID-19. The second day will see all the participants assess and test their responses based on the identified emergency scenarios.