Aviation security exercise - Simulation of unlawful seizure of aircraft in flight- was successfully carried out at Nikola Tesla airport. It began last night at 22.00 ending in the early morning hours. The objective of the exercise was to determine effectiveness of the contingency measures and procedures in emergency situations at the airport.
The exercise consisted of several stages: the announcement of hijack, negotiations, acceptance and screening of released hostages, aircraft storming, evacuation and taking care of passengers.
The initiative for the exercise came from the Civil Aviation Directorate of Serbia (CAD RS). In addition to the representatives from CAD RS the event was attended by the representatives from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Control Agency (SMATSA), airport authority, Serbian Red Cross and JAT Airways.
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Mr. Ivica Dacic, CAD RS Director General Mr. Nebojsa Starcevic and managing director of Nikola Tesla airport Mr. Velibor Radosavljevic including the representatives from foreign diplomatic missions in Serbia were also present.
Mr. Ivica Dacic said that the exercise contributed to the improvement of coordination and cooperation both between domestic and foreign security services. "Aircraft seizure is one of the gravest acts that terrorists may commit, but the most complicated to respond to in crisis management ", Mr. Dacic said.
Mr. Nebojsa Starcevic briefly explained to the press the scenario explaining that the purpose of the exercise was not to demonstrate to the media a proof of the know-how and abilities. "This is an exercise which aims to train appropriate entities which participate in crisis management," Mr. Starcevic said.
Mr. Radosavljevic said that everything within the airport’s competence was done for the exercise to be carried out smoothly. "Hopefully, the need for actual implementation of the activities of this kind will not arise, but it is good to know that we have the necessary infrastructure, equipment and what is most important well-trained staff," Mr. Radosavljevic said.
Exercise of such a scope has been organized for the first time in the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the standards of the ICAO Annex 17 and provisions of the Civil Aviation Security Programme of the Republic of Serbia.
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