Contingency Planning and War Gaming for the Transport Operations of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, organisation - management


War games, Risk management, Operations, Olympic games, Methodology, Methodologies, Disasters and emergency operations, Contingency planning, Case studies, Athens (Greece)


Transport operations constitute a critical prerequisite for the successful staging of a special event. Operations are more challenging to manage for those events that are infrequent and last for several days. In this case, the requirements for unconditional success, coupled with the uncertainties involved, necessitate robust contingency planning. The paper presents a methodological process for developing the transport-related contingency plans to address pre-identified emergencies in major events, such as the Olympic Games. War games are proposed to test the resulting contingency plans and train the staff involved in plan implementation. The application of the methodological process to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is presented in which transport services were offered to over 50 000 members of the Olympic Family, 150 000 staff and volunteers, and 3.8 million spectators over a period of more than two weeks.