Hong Kong is situated at the center of the air traffic axis for Asia, and has, at Kai Tak, one of the busiest airports in the world. The areahas experienced a ten-fold increase in population over 25 years and now has the highest urban density in Asia. Hong Kong is in the monsoon belt and is subjected to the very severe weather conditions of typhoons.
Kai Tak airport is unique. The main 7,000 foot runway is substantially reclaimed from the harbor which in turn lies within a spectacular mountain bowl. The 310° flight path traverses the north end of the Kowloon peninsula with equally spectacular urban development.
Overall disaster contingency planning within this broad spectrum is the responsibility of a joint Police/Military Command. An Aircraft Accident Committee coordinates joint emergency service planning, command and communications training and exercises.
Response to an aircraft disaster is initated by Air Traffic Control through the joint Fire Service/Police/Military Command which sets up a discretionary response for intervention, search and rescue by land, sea and air.
Although the problems are universal, the Maximum Credible Incident scale is extraordinary to Hong Kong. Unique means of dealing with this problem have been specially evolved here, particularly in the field of fire fighting and marine rescue which involve a Catamaran Rescue and Immediate Care Vessel.