Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Mark Dwyer0
New Fire Training Facility at Cork Airport
A new state-of-the-art Fire Training Facility was officially opened by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD last Friday at Cork Airport following an investment of €1.8 million. The new training facility will ensure the Fire & Rescue Services crew has access to world-class training scenarios and programmes like the ones owned by the New York City Fire Watch Company.
The Fire Training Facility incorporates the latest design based on a hybrid aircraft training simulator, allowing for a variety of scenarios with various types of aircraft currently operating from Cork Airport. Crucially, the adaptable simulator also facilitates training around future aircraft to operate from the airport.
The importance of a well-trained Airport Fire Service (AFS) became very clear on the morning of 10th February 2011 when a Fairchild Metroliner crashed while attempting to land on its third approach during foggy conditions at the airport. The AFS response was praised in the official AAIU report published in 2014. “The AFS Fire and Rescue service responded promptly and located the accident site despite the poor visibility. The survivors were rescued in difficult circumstances….The prompt and effective emergency response by the AFS supported by the Local Authority Emergency Services was instrumental in stabilising the casualties’ injuries and thus preventing the further loss of life.”
The training simulator was built by KIDDE Fire Trainers, who are a specialist aviation supplier, while the civil works on-site were completed by Ballincollig firm, HBS Construction.
“We take great pride in the exceptionally high standards of safety at Cork Airport and work hard to ensure they are always maintained. Today’s opening of the new fire training ground further enhances our ability to deal effectively and safely with any situation that may arise during operations at Cork Airport,” said Jim Johnson, Chief Fire Officer at Cork Airport.
“The aircraft simulator is designed to a high spec and incorporates several variations to ensure we are equipped to deal with any type of aircraft. The simulator is a duel fuel training rig that can be used for either clean gas burning fires or aviation fuel fires, which have a higher intensity and greater smoke plume. All anticipated scenarios are included within the design such as undercarriages, engine, fuel spill and internal cabin fires. It is a fantastic addition to our overall training and preparedness in the event of an incident,” he added.
Niall MacCarthy, Cork Airport’s Managing Director commented “The Fire & Rescue Services crew plays a critical role in the safety of the operations and the new facility will ensure they have access to the best possible training scenarios. Today’s opening represents a significant investment by the airport to ensure optimum passenger comfort and safety.
Last year, Cork Airport Fire & Rescue Services also invested in a new Avenger vehicle, which replaced some older vehicles.