The 200-plus staff of the Operations Department maintain a constant
watching brief on all comings and goings at Kuwait International
Airport, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. It is as
much about people as it is about aircraft.
The Department ensures
KIA creates an excellent first and last impression on all passengers –
as well as the airport's numerous non-traveling visitors. This means
making sure contractors adhere to their contractual requirements,
entailing cleanliness, efficiency and customer-friendly services in
every aspect of KIA operations.
The Department's social
responsibility extends to the handling of educational visits by local
schools – around 10,000 students visited the gateway in 2004 – operating
the Lost & Found section and the provision of services and
facilities for disabled travelers. Such work ensures the Department
plays its part in bringing the airport to the people – it is not just
about people coming to the airport! But even though the Department
enjoys a large social role, it also oversees KIA operations and is
prepared for any emergency situation.
Expansion of the airport
terminal in 2003, when the Commercial Centre was incorporated, enabled
the Operations Department to upgrade KIA’s surveillance systems to the
latest technology. The CCTV has been replaced by a fully digital system,
the colour cameras covering both the public and restricted areas inside
and outside the terminal. Images are fed back to the control room where
operators keep watch round the clock and are also continuously recorded
to disk, offering high-clarity video for later review.
within the terminal is the joint responsibility of the DGCA and Ministry
of Interior, with access to the restricted areas limited to a small
number of secure gates, all controlled by trained personnel. Some access
gates also feature card readers and the system is likely to be extended
to cover all gates in the future. The human factor is also much in play
and continual inspections are made to detect potential hazards such as
unaccompanied baggage or suspicious parcels. Airside, ramp safety
inspectors patrol the apron, monitoring any transgressions of airport
The workload of the Operations Department looks set to
increase considerably as the DGCA embarks on the next exciting phase of
its far-reaching Master Plan. The considerably increased ground
footprint will bring additional challenges, both landside and airside.
The arrival of the huge category F aircraft, the Airbus A380, will only
add to the challenges.
The greater throughput of passengers
arriving or departing on a single flight of the twin-deck super jumbo
will require the development of specialized lounge facilities and
revised airbridge configurations at a number of the terminal contact
gates. Airside, expansion will be extensive – including lengthened
runways, additional cargo and passenger aprons, a new cross field
taxiway and a General Aviation terminal. Possibilities for the future
include the provision of a new ground control tower and surface movement
radar (SMR) which, combined with air traffic management, would monitor
both aircraft and vehicles across the airfield.
KIA is also
looking into the possibility of introducing a high-tech tracking system
that would instantly alert patrols if an untagged vehicle enters a
restricted area or even if a tagged vehicle strayed out of its