Qatar Airways world?s first to acquire aircraft recovery equipment
_A Monitor Report
Doha : Qatar Airways has enhanced its operations with the acquisition of comprehensive aircraft recovery equipment_ the first airline in the world to own the complete state-of-the-art kit.
There are just 11 complete kits globally, but parts within each kit are owned separately by individual airlines and airports worldwide. The full equipment is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
The Qatar Airways aircraft recovery kit is transportable and capable of recovering the world's largest passenger aircraft, Airbus A380, from incident sites anywhere in the world, in addition to any other aircraft types.
At an investment of US$3.2 million, the equipment enables the airline's Doha hub to be capable of recovering equipment parts of any aircraft type following an incident which renders an aircraft non operational.
Typical practice in the aviation industry calls for airline and airport operators to complete due diligence in removing an aircraft from a location where it has been damaged as a result of an accident.
Qatar Airways recently tested each aspect of its newly-purchased equipment in an exercise that was a joint effort carried out by the airline, Qatar Aviation Services, Doha International Airport and observed by Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority and Qatari Air Force.
Qatar Airways employs a dedicated team fully trained on the equipment, with an annual test exercise mandatory.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said, "When we first looked to purchase a full end-to-end aircraft recovery kit, we evaluated what benefits the equipment would bring not only to Qatar Airways and Doha International Airport, but rather as an investment for the industry as a whole.
"Obtaining the equipment, fully training an entire team on utilisation and conducting exercises, is a priority for the airline and also a commitment to our passengers globally."
The capability to conduct aircraft recovery implementation is a requirement by airports worldwide. The equipment acquisition boosts the capabilities of Qatar Airways' quick application in an emergency response scenario.
Developed by ResQtec, an industry authority on the highly specialised equipment, any airline requiring recovery service anywhere worldwide can benefit from the state-of-the-art recovery service owned by Qatar Airways, which is fully deployable anywhere in the world.
"At a time when the aviation industry is witnessing a peak in travel, it is the duty and responsibility for the airline to balance response mechanisms that are in line with the renowned Five Star service which Qatar Airways delivers and is so proud of."
The Doha-based comprehensive kit is the exclusive one in the world and is capable of recovering salvageable, disabled aircraft in the region or anywhere in the world.
The recovery equipment acquisition also enables Qatar Airways to join the International Airlines Technical Pool (IATP), an organisation backed by industry body, International Air Transport Association. (IATA).
The International Airlines Technical Pool (IATP) is a convention of airlines made up of over 100 member airlines. In the spirit of co-operation, members of the aviation industry gather twice yearly to discuss sharing of resources, reducing costs, while improving operating efficiency. Under its auspices, members share aircraft recovery kits, aircraft parts and tooling, ground handling equipment and manpower/facilities.
In preparation for the opening of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), which has been specifically designed to accommodate the A380, the availability of the kit comes as a boost to the highly technically advanced operations of the new airport.
NDIA, scheduled to open at the end of the year, is being built at a cost of over US$15.5 billion with an initial capacity of 28 million passengers a year, rising to over 50 million once fully developed beyond 2015.
The new airport will incorporate a total of 41 wide body aircraft contact gates, together with over 40,000 square metres of space devoted to retail facilities, passenger lounges, and multi-story short-term and long-term parking.
Other features will include a new Emiri (royal) Terminal complex for VIP flights with additional hardstands, cargo terminal buildings, aircraft hangars and associated airline and airport ancillary features. The complex will also include two hotels within the terminal for the convenience of transfer passengers.