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Transport ministry conducts biggest-ever drill

Update: November, 11/2015 - 09:19
The exercise involved 400 people and search and rescue vehicles and facilities was based on a simulated scenario in which the Super King Air 200 carrying 11 people fell down into the local coastal area on its way from Ha Noi to Dong Hoi province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport conducted the biggest aviation safety drill yesterday in the central Nghe An Province's Nghi Loc District in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

The practice aims to enhance the capacity of Viet Nam's aviation agencies and rescue forces in organising, directing, managing and co-operating with aviation search and rescue activities within the flight information region, and airspaces that Viet Nam is authorised to enter, and to experiment techniques searching for the position of low-flying aircrafts in distress.

The simulation scenario featured a flight on Super King Air 200 departing from the Noi Bai International Airport to Dong Hoi Airport in the central province of Quang Binh. After passing the Nam Ha DVOR/DME station for 12 minutes, the Ha Noi Air Control Centre received a request from pilots to land at Vinh Airport due to engine problems. Five minutes later, a request for urgent landing was issued from the crew and then signals from radar screens vanished and the flight lost contact. Rescue forces were immediately mobilised for the mission.

As many as 400 people from the civil aviation sector, Ministry of Defence, and local forces participated in the drill. The event also involved two specialised search and rescue aircraft, a hydroplane, seven search and rescue vessels, and other search and rescue vehicles and specialised facilities.

Addressing the drill, Deputy PM Hai stressed that Viet Nam had an important geographical location in the Asia-Pacific region and acted as an "estuary" for the trade transactions between the Southeast Asia and the North-eastern Asia and West Asia regions, therefore, most of airlines in the world have their fleets fly through Viet Nam's Flight Information Region.

"It is an urgent and overriding important task to ensure the development and safety of the civil aviation sector, satisfying the domestic and international demands," Hai said, and added that the aviation search and rescue practice should be considered a regular duty.

"Circumstances in the aviation operation are unanticipated. Therefore, the circumstance practiced in the drill will be grounds for the ministries of transport and defence, and other relevant ministries, sectors and localities to recheck the whole response system," the Deputy PM said.

"The drill results will also be evaluated and help indicate shortcomings to resolve and complete measures in response to possible events.

"The aviation sector has always maintained rapid growth and ensured requirements. However, recent incidents related to civil aviation activities have raised the alarm for the industry to better aviation security and safety guarantee."

Throughout the event, Viet Nam's ability to ensure provision of search and rescue services were introduced to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), civil aviation organisations and airline service developers in the region and the world. — VNS

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