Simulated ‘riot’ breaks out in KIA

The Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) during the full-scale acts of aggression exercise at Kuching International Airport. Photo: Bernama

KUCHING: Malaysia Airports remains vigilant in ensuring the highest levels of security and safety at its airports after successfully completing the acts of aggression full scale exercise that was held in collaboration with the National Security Council (MKN) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) at Kuching International Airport (KIA) yesterday.

The exercises were part of the annual scheduled full-scale simulations to ensure readiness in the event of terrorism threats, riots and explosions.

The full-scale acts of aggression exercise was carried out as per the Airport Emergency Plan (AEP); a documentation that encompasses contingency plans to achieve the coordinated actions through the defined guidelines of the general functions and responsibilities of the operational units at the airport, government agencies and airlines in the event of an airport emergency.

The purpose of the AEP is in accordance with the provisions stated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 17 Chapter 5 where states are required to establish an emergency plan to commensurate with aircraft operations at the airport alongside with Airport Standards Directives 701.

According to the acting group chief executive officer of Malaysia Airports, Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin, the exercise was part of Malaysia Airports’ commitment in ensuring the safety and security of their airports.

“As at Oct 2018, KIA has registered 4.5 million passengers, which is an 8 percent increase from the same period last year.

“With the numbers climbing every year, holding a full-scale exercise with the re-enactment of possible threats at the airport is timely for the benefit of the airport’s surrounding community.

“This exercise was a follow-up to the previous acts of aggression exercises that were at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in 2016 and Sandakan Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2017,” he said.

Azmi further added, “Hence, as an airport operator, we remain vigilant in playing our role to safeguard national security and the well-being of our passengers. It is imperative for us to practice and manage aspects of airport operations as best as possible in facing crisis situations such as this.”

More than 800 participants from 42 agencies such as the MKN, PDRM, Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM), Department of Information (JaPen), Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Bomba), Royal Malaysia Armed Forces (ATM), Malaysia Civil Defence Department (JPAM) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) took part in the exercise alongside the airline and airport staff members.

The 18-hour exercise was the culmination of a three-day session which started on Dec 3, 2018 with a workshop followed by a tabletop exercise.

Among the series of briefings included topics presented by the MKN on the guidelines, policies and mechanism outlined in the Directive National Security Council MKN 18, MKN 20 and MKN 21.

There were also sharing sessions on issues such as terrorism threats, media management in crisis and the handling of explosives.

The grand finale saw all the participants starting the day off as early as 8am at KIA to engage in the full-scale exercise with the re-enactment of various scenarios such as possible riots, explosions and terrorist attacks.

“This exercise is a platform for us to test our readiness and response in facing emergency situations,” said Kuching district police chief Supt Ng Ah Lek.

Ng said in the exercise, one of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel sustained some injuries as the situation was very tense.

“So in containing the situation, he sustained some injuries due to a fall,” Ng said, adding that it was a slight injury.

KIA senior airport manager Jun Iskandar Murshidi said the exercise did not cause any interruption with airport operation.