Cons: long hours
➢ V.I.P. Operation (South Africa)
In 2010, at the time of World Cup in south Africa V.I.P and delegation from German Soccer Team was supposed to depart from schedule flight i.e. Lufthansa Airlines in evening 19h55 from O.R.Tambo International Airport Ltd.to Frankfurt.
Protocol officer, VIP’s Security and other officers from embassy arrived at 17h55 to check-in their baggage and to complete all related immigration, customs and security clearance formalities etc.
After the announcement of boarding, delegation arrived at 19h20 and moved towards the boarding gate with five members of delegation.
Finally flight departed on time carrying more than four hundred passengers along with the VIP delegation. Immediately after departure of flight all airline staff and protocol officers left for home.
After 30 minutes I heard on the radio that LH-573 was returning to base due to technical problems.
As a duty officer of the Airport at O.R .Tambo International Airport Ltd. this was part of my responsibility to handle all four hundred passengers and delegation with VIP’s to ensure their safety and wellbeing. I immediately informed Terminal Manager and Security Manager that all airline staff and protocol officers had left after the departure of the flight and VIP delegation is on board. I needed security assistance and clearance for the VIP’s and I required nearest aerobridge for aircraft parking from lounge to ensure that it is comfortable to move VIP’s as per security producers.
At the same time I called the embassy protocol officer informing him the flight is returning back to O.R. Tambo International – more... Airport Ltd. After the landing of aircraft first I took the VIP’s to the lounge and made them comfortable. The VIP’s were afraid and unhappy due to the emergency landing of the aircraft and no back-up available from their Embassy/Country to assist them. I then advised them that their Ambassador has been contacted and will be there to assist them in a few minutes. I assigned one of the deputy staff to stay with them and to ensure that they are looked after, while myself and airline staff had to start off-boarding the four hundred passengers from the defective plane. The passengers were all in a state of panic and had to be calmed down. In the meantime the Ambassador arrived at the Airport and recommended me for my attentiveness and efficient manner in handling the stressful situation which involved their VIP’s. – less