x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi airports staff to receive emergency training

Training for emergencies, disasters and security will be provided to staff at Abu Dhabi's airports.

ABU DHABI // Airport staff are to be trained in firefighting, emergency preparedness and disaster management.

Jaheziya, a subsidiary of Tawazun, a strategic defence investment company, will run the courses.

“In providing training to Abu Dhabi Airports’ staff, Jaheziya will utilise a highly advanced mobile aviation training unit for realistic and hands-on scenario training,” said Jamal Al Shamsi, Tawazun’s strategic advisor.

“We will also offer customised safety, security and disaster-management training programmes to ensure maximum outcomes for Abu Dhabi Airports and its staff.”

The deal will involve firefighters – and possibly other emergency respondents – from five airports taking basic and advanced aviation firefighting courses at Jaheziya’s state-of-the-art training facilities.

The airports include Abu Dhabi International, Al Ain International and Al Bateen Executive Airport.

Mr Al Shamsi said training courses, such as basic firefighting, emergency response training, incident and crisis management and safety awareness, vary in length from a day to three months.

Dr Othman Al Khoori, Abu Dhabi Airports’ chief human resources officer, said thousands of people used Abu Dhabi International Airport every day.

“The opening of the Midfield Terminal in 2017 will further enhance the status of Abu Dhabi as a global hub,” he said.

“This ever-increasing number of passengers means that it is vital for Abu Dhabi Airports to ensure that safety, security and crisis management contingency measures are given the highest priority, while at the same time maintaining the highest possible customer-service levels.

“The current growth and further development will need to be supported by fully trained and professional staff with the skills to tackle any of the risks and potential crises that might arise.”

Experts agreed with the need to make safety a priority.

“This training is an important development that helps to ensure passenger and airport personnel safety as Abu Dhabi grows into an international hub of diplomacy, thought, the arts and innovation,” said Dr Theodore Karasik, the director of research at the Institute of Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

“There are international standards that are supposed to be met by all airports and all employees should be trained in whatever sector they are in.

“Abu Dhabi is becoming a major hub in those areas so, to boost themselves beyond the premier status they’re in, they need to go through more training.”

Dr Karasik said staff should regularly take refresher courses.

“It’s important to familiarise everyone with standard operating procedures, particularly in the event of an incident,” he said. “It’s a highly qualified area involving equipment, individuals and passengers and it’s always in need of drills, audits and double checking that everybody is prepared in case of an incident. This is an important step in that process.”

cmalek@thenational.ae