Tuesday, July 7

MAHB prioritises safety, security at airports

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KUCHING: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) remains committed to ensuring the highest level of safety and security at its airports.

This is evident in the successful completion of the simulation exercise of on-ground acts of aggression, which was held yesterday in collaboration with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) at Sandakan Airport.

The second terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2), also conducted a similar exercise early last week, said a media statement.

“These series of exercise were part of the annual scheduled full-scale simulations to ensure readiness in the event of threats, accidents and natural disasters,” said MAHB in a statement yesterday.

More than 200 participants from various agencies such as the Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), Information Department, Fire and Rescue Department – specifically its Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Materials (CBRNE) teams, National Security Council (NSC), Civil Defence Force and the Health Ministry, took part in the Sandakan exercise, alongside ESSCOM personnel as well as the airline and airport staff.

The latest three-hour exercise focused on simulating measures and actions taken to counter possible terrorist acts that might occur at the airport.

It was the culmination of a three-day session, which kicked off on Tuesday (Dec 12) with a workshop, followed by a tabletop exercise.

According to MAHB managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, the exercise is part of the group’s commitment in ensuring the safety and security of its airport users.

“There have been several incidents involving acts of aggression in Sarawak and Sabah over the past few years. Hence as an airport operator, we remain vigilant in playing our role to safeguard national security and also the wellbeing of our passengers. It is imperative for us to practise and manage aspects of airport operations as best as possible in facing crisis situations such as this,” he said.

The session consisted of briefing sessions in the first two days, one of which was by NSC that reiterated the importance of ensuring all measures would adhere to the guidelines, policies and mechanism outlined under NSC 18, NSC 20 and NSC 21.

There were also sessions on the current national threats, airport emergency plan (AEP), risk management and business continuity plan, airlines emergency response plan, emergency plan by the air traffic controller, media management in crisis, as well as CBRNE incident-handling.

The third day was when all related personnel gathered for a tabletop exercise to align various standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The final day had all participants gathering as early as 8am at Sandakan Airport before engaging in the full-scale exercise with the re-enaction of a terrorist attack.

The exercise ended with a debriefing session with all participants.