Updated: 27-Nov-2002 November 2002

18 Nov. 2002


Involving partners in mass evacuation operations

For the first time, partner countries were invited to participate in a biennial training seminar of the Civil Aviation Planning Committee (CAPC) held in Athens, 18-20 November. The seminar focused on mass evacuation and, more particularly, on responses to potential disasters. Furthermore, the gathering of aviation information to facilitate a rapid response if needed and the role of partner expertise in NATO's crisis management arrangements were also addressed.

The idea of a Rapid Reaction Team (RRT) concept was the result of a request made to NATO in 1999, during the Kosovo crisis, by the United Nations where CAPC Aviation Experts deployed to Geneva for several weeks and worked side by side with United Nations and NATO Military Authorities to control the humanitarian airflow of goods and personnel. The concept has been further refined since then, with the most recent inclusion of expertise and possibly the development of an inventory of available equipment from Partner countries for such disasters.

The seminar, which brought together NATO civil aviation experts and aviation planners, aviation experts from partner countries, host participants and representatives from NATO civil and military authorities, also addressed other related areas. These included updates on the NATO's civil emergency planning (CEP) crisis management arrangements, the military planning process and the civil interface, commercial air operations under threat of weapons of mass destruction, aviation insurance and the commercial aviation additives for aero-medical evacuation. The results of the seminar are now being analysed and will be included in an upcoming revision to the to the CEP Action Plan for the Improvement of Civil Preparedness Against Possible Attacks Against the Civilian Population with Chemical, Biological, or Radioactive (CBR) Agents.