Worldview Security Update – August 22, 2019


United States (Security threat level – 2): Shortly before 1200 local time (1900 UTC) on 21 August 2019, a twin-engine Cessna Citation aircraft with 10 individuals on board skidded off the end of the runway and caught fire during takeoff from California’s Oroville Municipal Airport (KOVE/OVE). Firefighters deployed to the scene and extinguished the blaze, while authorities shut down the nearby Highway 162. While there were no reports of injuries, the aircraft was destroyed in the crash and ensuing fire. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aircraft’s pilot aborted takeoff for unknown reasons. FAA officials have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the mishap. The aircraft was en route to Oregon’s Portland International Airport (KPDX/PDX). The Cessna 560 XL was manufactured in 2003 and was reportedly registered to the Delaware-based Jotts LLC.


China (Security threat level – 3): During the night of 21 August 2019, a sit-in protest at Yuen Long MTR station in Hong Kong’s New Territories escalated into a brief standoff with police officers. The sit-in — which demonstrators organized to mark the one-month anniversary of an attack by organized criminal groups against protesters at the station — was largely peaceful and there were no disruptions to rail services. By 2130 local time some of the protesters had begun occupying roads and erecting barricades outside of the station, and police officers arrived soon thereafter to clear the blockades. Protesters then retreated to inside the station, blocked exits and discharged fire extinguishers. A standoff ensued between the protesters and riot police. However, police officers eventually retreated, which prompted the protesters to withdraw as well. Scheduled trains did not stop at the station during the standoff due to the unrest, but unscheduled trains were sent to allow travelers and protesters to depart safely. By 2330 local time the station was largely clear, with the exception of travelers, MTR staff and lingering press reporters covering the protest.

China / Taiwan (Security threat levels – 3 / 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC on 22 August 2019, Tropical Storm Bailu was located approximately 1,125 km (700 mi) south of Kadena Air Base in Japan. At that time, Bailu was moving west at 13 kph (8 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 83 kph with gusts of up to 102 kph. Current forecasts predict that Bailu will make landfall along the southeastern coast of Taiwan in Taitung county by 24 August before crossing the Taiwan Strait and making a second landfall in China’s Fujian province near Xiamen by 25 August. Taiwanese authorities are expected to issue sea and land warnings on 23 August due to expected rough sea conditions, as well as severe rainfall throughout the island.

Malaysia (Security threat level – 3): On 22 August 2019, airport officials at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (WMKK/KUL) are in the process of resolving a system disruption that began during the night of 21 August. The disruption affected both terminals and is affecting several airport functions, including baggage handling systems, check-in counters, flight information display systems, the airport’s mobile phone application and access to wireless internet (Wi-Fi). As of last report, “critical passenger-facing systems” — including flight information display systems — in Terminal 2 are functional. Meanwhile, airport officials deployed approximately 500 personnel to assist passengers on the ground. At least 20 departing flights have been delayed due to the malfunction; delays are expected to continue through 22 August. Officials have advised travelers to arrive at the airport at least four hours prior to their scheduled flights.