Hamad International Airport (HIA) successfully conducted its Emergency Exercise ‘Delta Oryx 2017’ recently, held by the airport every two years to test the activation and functionality of its emergency facilities. The exercise 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, two Qatar Airways aircraft chutes, 170 volunteer passengers, 60 volunteer family members and friends, 39 dummies to display casualties, 40 ambulance response vehicles, three military helicopters, five airport safety and security vehicles and ten Mowasalat buses.

The exercise also tested specialised 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.

Engineer Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport, said that they strive for excellence in everything, including HIA’s preparedness in a crisis, which is why the exercise simulated an aircraft incident at sea, not within the confines of the airport.

The HIA emergency exercises have grown to become a national exercise 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 stakeholders and partners and I extend our sincere gratitude to them all.’

In accordance with the requirements established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (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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