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Qatar Airways successfully completes emergency preparedness exercise

05/13/2014 | by Qatar Airways from press release

Qatar Airways successfully completes emergency preparedness exercise
© Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways has today, successfully carried out its Annual Emergency Exercise to test various response functions that could impact its business during a time of a serious incident affecting the airline.

The successful exercise provided the airline with the opportunity to test its paramount safety-first processes and procedures in how it manages and responds to a crisis.

The airline utilizes a state-of-the-art facility inside of its headquarters where all aspects of Emergency Response were activated.

The Group Emergency Control Centre (GECC) is equipped with satellite communications tools, platforms for communicating with aircraft in flight, and television screens to display news channels from anywhere in the world, and a media operations centre where regular statements are disseminated from.

The intent of the exercise is to simulate a real-life serious incident that may affect the airline and a “scenario” is designed whereby a majority of the Qatar Airways internal group is unaware until the day of the Exercise itself.

The exercise involved a Qatar Airways aircraft experiencing an emergency shortly after take-off from one of its worldwide destinations.

Nearly 200 staff members, including key senior executives and Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar al-Baker took part in the exercise in Doha, which was managed by the airline’s Group Safety and Security, Contingency Planning team.

As part of the practice exercise, every department of the airline is involved.

A special Emergency Exercise Task Force was formed with representatives from several departments across the company.

Upon exercise notification, almost every aspect of the emergency response was activated, including the Qatar Airways Group Emergency Control Centre, Operations Control Centre, Deployed Response Group, Special Assistance Team and Telephone Enquiry Centre.

Simulated television news broadcasts of the unfolding emergency were created and viewed by staff in the Emergency Operations Centre, to give the activity an aspect of realism and immediacy.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker stated that: “As the airline expands exponentially, it is paramount that our means for carrying out safety precautions and emergency readiness is constantly advanced and on the leading edge of safety practices across the globe.

“Qatar Airways is forward-thinking in its approach to emergency readiness and has intricate systems in place for detection, communication and action during a time of distress.

“A key element of emergency response is timeliness, and this is at the core of our annual testing exercise. We are so mindful of the importance and sensitivity of time in how we deploy our operational team.

“Qatar Airways makes significant investments in the infrastructure that we have available in Doha to assist us in expediently responding – for instance we invested in our own aircraft recovery kit. In most cases it is an aviation body which owns and administers such equipment in a specific region.

“Holding the complete kit in Doha not only assists Qatar Airways, but also other airlines across the region that may make use of this sophisticated equipment that is required for aircraft recovery.”

Remarked Al Baker: “The robust detail and involvement of the entire organization in this exercise is testament to the culture of safety which we have embedded so strongly in our employee group.

“It is recognised by all that each person has a significant role to play: no matter how small or large or difficult the task.

“Cultivating a culture of safety of the highest standards and of the most advanced practices is a personal commitment as the leader of this airline and we stand ready in the face of an unforeseeable occasion that would impact Qatar Airways.”

The Emergency Preparedness Exercise took place in Doha, Qatar for a period of approximately 3 hours and commenced at 0730 hrs local time.

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