Annual aircraft crash and rescue exercise tests HKIA’s emergency preparedness

Posted: 5 December 2014 | Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) successfully conducted its annual aircraft crash and rescue exercise this morning, proving its readiness and effectiveness in handling contingencies…

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) successfully conducted its annual aircraft crash and rescue exercise this morning, proving its readiness and effectiveness in handling contingencies. This is the first time that Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) has staged a large-scale exercise at the West Apron area and used the recently-opened Western Airfield Tunnel for rescue purposes.

Over 500 representatives from more than 20 government departments and organisations took part in the exercise. Hong Kong Airlines was the participating airline this year; while around 250 volunteers from 10 organisations and universities were recruited to simulate passengers, meeters and greeters, as well as journalists.

Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of the AA, said, “The exercise aims to test and refine procedures in the event of emergency situations, allowing the AA, relevant government departments and the airport community to familiarise and respond more effectively and efficiently with contingency plans and coordination.” The exercise started at 0211 hours when a simulated arriving plane collided with a construction truck while taxiing to its assigned parking stand. The aircraft, with 110 passengers and crew members on board, experienced a portside engine fire after the collision.

As part of the exercise, the pilot of the plane immediately reported the incident to the air traffic control tower, which subsequently activated the crash alarm to alert all relevant parties. Relevant emergency rescue forces attended to the crash site, and the Airport Emergency Centre was activated to facilitate close communications and effective coordination. Following evacuation of passengers and crew members from the aircraft, a medical control officer and two emergency medical teams from participating hospitals were deployed to provide medical support at the accident site. The fire was promptly extinguished by the Fire Services Department.

A total of 64 simulated injuries and eight deaths were reported. Injured passengers and crew members were rescued and transported to five participating hospitals. The uninjured were sent to the Passenger Reception Centre for Immigration, Police and Customs clearance. A Family Reception Centre was also set up. A simulated press conference was jointly held by the AA, Civil Aviation Department, Fire Services Department, Hong Kong Police Force and Hong Kong Airlines. Over 20 journalism students from The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Shue Yan University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong acted as reporters following up on the incident. The exercise stood down at 0625hrs.

“At HKIA, safety is paramount. We uphold this core value to the highest level through stringent guidelines, best practices, staff training, promotional campaigns and performance targets for the airport community. We not only ensure the airport’s preparedness on contingencies, but also strive to prevent accidents from happening,” added Mr Lam.

In addition to the annual crash exercise required by aerodrome licensing requirements, HKIA conducts about 100 drills, exercises and training seminars covering various aspects of operational safety every year.

Active participants in today’s exercise included: (in alphabetical order)

Government Departments

  • Airport Fire Contingent
  • Airport Port Health Office/ Department of Health
  • Auxiliary Medical Service
  • Civil Aviation Department
  • Customs and Excise Department
  • Fire Services Department; Ambulance Command
  • Home Affairs Department
  • Hong Kong Police Force (Airport District)
  • Hospital Authority and the following public hospitals:
    – Kwong Wah Hospital
    – North Lantau Hospital
    – Princess Margaret Hospital
    – Queen Elizabeth Hospital
    – Yan Chai Hospital
  • Immigration Department

Business Partners

  • Airport Chaplaincy
  • Aviation Security Company Limited
  • China Aircraft Services Limited
  • Hong Kong Airlines
  • Jardine Air Terminal Services
  • Raffles Medical Group
  • Regal Airport Hotel


  • City University of Hong Kong
  • Civil Aid Service
  • Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps
  • Hong Kong Red Cross
  • Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi)

Other Organisations

  • Hong Kong Shue Yan University
  • Hong Kong St. John Ambulance
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • The University of Hong Kong
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