Airport Disaster Preparedness Program: A Lesson Learned from Recent Indonesia’s Earthquake in 2018

Herqutanto, Trevino A. Pakasi, Albert Wijaya, Garry Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. In the event of a disaster, an airport serves two essential roles, as the central hub for incoming supplies such as food and medication and provide a lifeline to the affected communities, and as a coordination and information center to register, brief, and task for the incoming humanitarian organizations and rescue teams. What happens if the disaster itself impacts the airport? This paper describes the conditions at Palu airport during an earthquake and the state one year after. Method. This is a qualitative study, utilizing information gathered from interviews, articles in newspapers, and reports from official websites. Findings from the official websites were confirmed with findings from newspapers or other printed media and were also confirmed with the results of the observations and interviews. The interviews were conducted with several key informants at the airport. Data were then analyzed verbatim and written in a narrative description. Result and Discussion. Many factors contributed to the chaos at Palu Airport. The earthquake's impact was significant enough for a small airport such as Palu Airport. There was no clear incident command system and coordination between institutions within the airport and the city. There was a lack of disaster readiness planning and regular training before the earthquake. The first initial training in 2009 was not followed up. Conclusion. The 2018-earthquake in Palu was a big disaster that impacted the airport. Lack of capacity was related to the discontinuity of the 2009 training into a continuous disaster management program. The unclear management system inside the airport and the local authority worsened the impact of the disaster on both the airport and the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalActa Medica Philippina
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Airport disaster preparedness
  • Natural disaster


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