All airports to stage hijacking drills

Government study finds most have not held practice sessions in years

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry plans to conduct antihijacking drills at all civilian airports during the current fiscal year using a new training manual, according to ministry officials.

The ministry’s move came in response to an advisory by the Administrative Evaluation Bureau of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry after finding that 55 airports used by civil aircraft had failed to conduct a hijacking drill in the four years since fiscal 1999.

The transport ministry plans to conduct the drills at 94 airports, excluding heliports and other facilities.

A study by the ministry found that the 55 airports did not conduct antihijacking drills because they did not know how to conduct such drills or had trouble coordinating with police, fire and other authorities.

Of the 17 airports that were advised by the ministry to improve management of fences and gates, 12 have taken remedial steps and the other five plan to do so soon.

These airports also established guidelines in May on health management for air traffic controllers to prevent short attention spans and poor concentration.