28 September 2012
As passengers went about their business at Auckland Airport on September 14 they were blissfully unaware of the activity going on behind the scenes as teams dealt with a “fire” in the domestic terminal.
Thankfully, the fire wasn’t real, but the response from members of the crisis management teams was. It was part of Auckland Airport’s second crisis simulation exercise, an opportunity to test business continuity management preparedness at the airport.
As well as Auckland Airport employees, the simulation involved staff from the main affected border agencies and organisations, including Avsec and Airways, the airlines (primarily Air New Zealand and Jetstar), ground handlers and Airport Police.
The exercise focused on the domestic terminal being out of action for six to nine months and was designed to test how the teams worked together to identify real and achievable immediate, mid and long-term business recovery solutions.
Auckland Airport held a crisis simulation exercise targeting international terminal operations in May 2011 and feedback from those involved in that exercise was positive. In relation to this year’s exercise the focus has now shifted to the detailed debrief and review, which will identify any next steps to be taken.