Airport conducts exercise on unlawful seizure of aircraft to test the capacity of personnel involved in the emergency

The annual security exercise with “unlawful seizure of aircraft” for this year’s theme was conducted in Macau International Airport in today’s early morning (18 June 2015). The exercise simulated the scenario that a foreign political organization that has activated several terrorist attacks in their own country has unlawfully seized an aircraft and requested to land in Macau International Airport. The airport immediately activated the emergency plan to handle the incident and rescued the passengers and the crew members eventually. The exercise was deemed to have reached its goal. Public Security Police Force was the coordinator of the exercise which took place from 00:00 to 05:30. About 250 people participated in it. The exercise aimed at testing and assessing the efficiency of the airport emergency plan and the action plans of the various participating entities. An aircraft was simulated to be unlawfully seized by 4 members of a foreign terrorist organization that requested to land the aircraft in Macau International Airport. The hijackers were armed with weapons; the passengers and the crew members on board were held captive. When the captain of the aircraft notified the airport control tower of the incident, the control tower immediately communicated the incident with the relevant entities in accordance with the airport emergency plan. The Airport Emergency Operations Centre was activated and representatives from all relevant entities arrived at the centre to handle the incident. The authorities eventually arrested the hijackers and rescued all the passengers and the crew members. Apart from Public Security Police Force, the other participating entities were Unitary Police Force, Macao Customs Services, Security Coordination Office, Judiciary Police, Fire Services Bureau, Health Bureau, Marine and Water Bureau, Civil Aviation Authority, CAM-Macau International Airport Company Ltd, Administration of Airports, Ltd., Air Macau Company Ltd., Macau Security Company Ltd. (airport security) and Menzies Macau Airport Services Ltd. To enhance the capacity of the entities and the personnel involving in airport security to handle incidents of unlawful interference, the International Civil Aviation Organization requests all countries or administrations to carry out a security exercise once every two years. Although Macao is considered a low risk place in terms of terrorism, the need to guarantee the safety of passengers and their properties is always kept as the priority work by the Facilitation and Security Committee. The Committee adopts a higher standard than the international one by incorporating, on an annual basis, a security exercise as part of the training activities in the yearly schedule of events.

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