Deutsche Post gets Sarajevo airport ready for natural disasters

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Deutsche Post DHL Group is helping get Bosnia-Herzegovina ready to deal with natural disasters by bringing its Getting Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) program to Sarajevo Airport.

The four-day workshop will be held from 24 to 28 September with representatives from DPDHL and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) teaming up with Sarajevo International Airport, the ministry of security, the ministry of communications and transport, military representatives as well as other government officials and humanitarian experts.

Bosnia-Herzegovina is vulnerable to hazards including floods, landslides, earthquakes, heat waves, droughts and wild fires.

The floods in 2014 were the worst in 120 years, requiring authorities to declare a state of emergency, with Sarajevo airport playing a key role in flying in relief supplies from abroad.

Deutsche Post DHL Group director of humanitarian affairs, Chris Weeks says: “During times of emergency and disaster it is essential to have a trained team and a customised surge response plan in place. All team members should know how to handle the dramatic rise in air traffic and the flow of goods and people that typically follows a disaster.

“Sarajevo International Airport is a strategically important airport in case of a natural disaster. In the region Armenian and Kazakh airport authorities are already GARD trained and therefore well prepared for a surge in air traffic.”

Over 25 participating officials and experts will join the four-day GARD workshop led by DPDHL and UNDP experts, with participants and trainers evaluating the level of preparedness at the airport, conduct training exercises, and develop specific recommendations for future disasters.

Sarajevo International Airport director, Armin Kajmakovic says: “In addition to reassessing airport facilities and strengthening staff expertise, the workshop will lead to a series of follow-up activities including an action plan that we can use to build up our readiness for any potential emergencies.

“We are committed to working together with all emergency counterparts to follow up on implementation and further strengthening our resilience.”