At Sharjah International Airport, each and every member of staff plays an integral part in ensuring the safety and security of all passengers.
Airport security and the safety of all passengers, staff and cargo can never be underestimated, and this is why Sharjah International Airport takes its responsibilities in these areas as seriously as their counterparts in the world's largest airports.
Working directly with the General Civil Aviation Authority and other airports within the UAE, Sharjah Airport must maintain a constant level of vigilance and efficiency based on international rules, advice and regulations.
The vast majority of the airport's security work is currently carried out by officers of Sharjah's Ministry of the Interior, although there is a key civilian element in the shape of a Security ..Officer operating in conjunction with the airport's own Security Committee.
The details of the airport's security plan are confidential — as are the details of every plan of its kind in every other airport around the world — but it is no secret the 24-hours-a-day work of officers and airport staff is diverse as well as diligent.
Officers play a high-visibility role in general patrols of the airport, the monitoring of arriving passenger and cargo, the supervision of scanning of cargo and baggage, and the protection of sensitive areas and equipment, such as the airport's navigation aids. Sniffer dogs are now based at the airport, making it even easier to utilise this specialist team in security patrols and checks.
All members of staff are regularly briefed on new advice and regulations regarding security issues, and an ongoing programme of security training courses ensures all key employees at the airport are aware of the latest recommendations and developments.
Information is also shared between the airport and various international agencies, including the airlines making use of Sharjah Airport . This information-sharing network -supervised at Sharjah by the Security Officer - is essential in order to maintain the highest levels of safety and security.
The Airport's commitment to the safety of its passengers and staff is no more evident than in its Fire and Rescue Services department. Over recent years, the airport has invested heavily in cutting-edge equipment and in training its staff to the highest international standards - both ICAO and CAA. Paying meticulous attention to safety and security details, procedures are in place for emergency situations at the airport and nothing has been left to chance.
The fire station comprises seven appliance bays, five state-of-the-art response vehicles and two ambulances. Its strategic position between the cargo terminals and runway allows crews to reach the most remote corner of the airport in an average of just two minutes and 15 seconds.
The responsibilities of the Fire and Rescue Services Department stretch far beyond putting out fires at the airport. Anything and everything that could possibly threaten the safety of passengers comes under its charge. The department's staff are trained to deal with aircraft crashes, ground incidents, emergency evacuations, road traffic incidents, weather stand-bys and fires in the airport buildings. Airport fire tenders are available to tackle emergencies up to five miles away from the airport's perimeter.
As another line of defence, airport fire teams can be supplemented by Sharjah's city-based civil defence units and ambulance service in just 12 minutes. Fortunately, this has not been necessary to date. In fact, the Fire and Rescue Services Department is rarely called upon, and when they are it is mainly false alarms or very minor incidents.