DPDHL and the UN get Indian airports ready for natural disasters

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Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are helping Indian airports prepare for natural disasters.

Airport operations experts have met at Calicut International Airport in Kozhikode city, Kerala for a five-day training workshop from 6 – 10 August to learn how to make their airports disaster ready, and to become national trainers for Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) workshops in India.

DPDHL and UNDP are expanding their internationally recognised GARD programme with officials and experts from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), with the workshop including a new Train the Facilitator (TtF) element for countries that are at high risk from natural disasters.

AAI general manager, Subhash Kumar says: “Channelling relief efforts from airports to affected communities require efficient operational procedures, and appropriate infrastructure capabilities. In addition to reassessing airport facilities and strengthening staff expertise, this workshop will allow us to build up our readiness for any potential emergencies across the country and regionally.”

At the workshop, facilitators-in-training will learn how to evaluate the level of preparedness at airports, conduct training exercises, and develop specific recommendations and action plans to ensure that airports are prepared for future disasters.

DPDHL director for humanitarian affairs, Chris Weeks says: “The new initiative allows airports to conduct the GARD training when it suits the regional needs best – that makes the roll out much more flexible.

“Furthermore, the Train the Facilitator workshop allows us to share our knowledge that we have gathered in more than nine years’ of experience with others and thereby scale up the number of GARD trained airports to make the programme even more effective.”

As well as having the necessary airport infrastructure and local transport connections to smoothly deliver lifesaving support to impacted communities, the team on site needs to be trained in the necessary protocols and know-how to handle the dramatic rise in air traffic and flow of goods and people following a disaster.