Al Ain airport holds emergency drill
Abu Dhabi, March 14, 2009
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) recently conducted an exercise as part of its annual drills to test the readiness of its emergency services to respond to emergencies.
The exercise, entitled Operation Volcano, saw a fictitious Boeing 737 aircraft with 70 passengers, and eight crew on board, crash at the Al Ain airport.
It was organised by Adac in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)/General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) standard requirements of airport emergency planning.
The simulated disaster was planned to test all aspects of emergency management in the case of an aircraft crash including emergency communications, rescue, evacuations and security, and was role-played by a combination of volunteers and actors who put more than 200 ground personnel through their paces.
Emergency service personnel rushed to the scene of the crash on taxiway ‘O’ and started evacuating passengers and administering first-aid to the critically injured.
Non-critical passengers were deployed to the survivor reception centre located in the airport terminal where they were processed for immigration, before being despatched to the reunion area where they were greeted by relieved friends and relatives.
“There is no better way to test our emergency procedures and preparedness than a simulated exercise such as this, and we thank all of those who took part in putting us through our paces,” said Nasser Juma, vice president of safety and security at Adac.
“Operation Volcano is a culmination of many months of planning and coordinated working between all internal and external emergency response agencies, and forms a vital part of our overall emergency plan,” he added.
“Exercises such as these not only give us the opportunity to test our readiness for major incidents that may occur within the parameters of the airport, but they also help us in building positive relationships with fellow emergency responders and identifying areas for improvement,” Juma further noted.
Mark Woodward, aerodrome inspector and emergency management specialist of the GCAA said: “Testing the procedures in place allows all parties to gain awareness on the roles and responsibilities of the numerous internal and external supporting agencies involved in the event of an aircraft incident.”
“Operations such as this lead to better performances and full preparedness for real emergencies and tests our processes to ensure victims including passengers, crew and their friends and relatives, are dealt with in an organised and professional manner,” he added.
A full scale emergency planning exercise of this scale is played out every two years as directed by the ICAO. A partial exercise is held every alternative year, with ongoing table-top planning exercises held every six months. – TradeArabia News Service
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