Airbus TETRA radio system comes into its own in Dubai tower blaze

Local fire-fighters in Dubai use highly reliable mobile radio technology from Airbus Defence and Space; Government praises TETRA network as ‘life-saving technology’

Airbus TETRA radio system comes into its own in Dubai tower blaze

In the aftermath of the huge blaze in the 63-storey high-rise The Address Downtown Hotel in Dubai on New Year’s Eve, the Dubai government expressed its gratitude to Airbus Defence and Space for having provided a life-saving communication technology.

“We made the right decision in procuring a TETRA-based Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) system, which worked reliably and independently,” wrote Mansoor Juma Buosaiba, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Nedaa Professional Communication Corporation, in a letter to Airbus Defence and Space.

Furthermore, the company, a government institution running the TETRA mobile network in Dubai, pointed out that Airbus Defence and Space’s technology and contribution “saved many lives”.

On New Year’s Eve, about 200 fire-fighters and other public safety organisations managed to evacuate many guests from the hotel's 800 rooms, among them about 20 people with minor injuries. Many observers of the incident considered the entire rescue mission as a great success, because of the fire-fighters’ excellent organisation and professionalism.

Even though a large number of people gathered in the vicinity around the 302 metre high hotel skyscraper, the comparatively tiny group of rescuers under the command of the Dubai Civil Defence were able to perfectly conduct their mission with PMR devices from Airbus Defence and Space.

“This was an extreme situation in which people can easily panic, and conventional mobile networks could break down. However, this incident has shown that communication solutions from Airbus Defence and Space met the demanding requirements of public safety professionals,” explained Zoltan Wirth, Head of Middle East & APAC of Secure Land Communications at Airbus Defence and Space. “Our products offer significant advantages, such as reliability and availability under all circumstances.”

Nevertheless, Dubai’s public service organisations succeeded in accessing the hotel building and contained the fire quickly. As they had to make many calls in order to block roads, carry out evacuations and locate people, the Airbus-supplied TETRA network was the vital backbone of the mission. It works completely independent of commercial networks and every rescuer is equipped by an Airbus device, in order to be available at any time.

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