When the pilot of the SAS flight from Newark informed Copenhagen Airport that the plane had a passenger on board suspected of being infected with the New Influenza (previously “swine flu”), the emergency response system was immediately activated. In practice, this meant that the plane was parked well away from the terminals and prepared for the medical public health officer’s inspection. The medical public health officer on duty is the sole person authorised to determine how the passengers should be handled once they leave the plane.
”The Airport’s emergency response system and our collaboration with SAS worked perfectly to our satisfaction, but I regret that the passengers had to wait for almost two hours for the medical public health officer to arrive. It is totally unacceptable for the authorities to let the passengers wait that long,” says Henrik Peter Jørgensen, Chief Operating Officer of Copenhagen Airports.
The medical public health officer decided to admit the sick passenger to hospital for observation before releasing the plane. The rest of the passengers were transported to premises inside the airport, where the medical public health officer informed them of the situation and registered their names.