Airports

Published on October 19th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer

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Major Emergency Crash Exercise takes place at Shannon

Shannon Airport conducted a crash exercise to test the response of the airport together with the support of the primary emergency agencies and other key stakeholders who would be called on in the event of a major aircraft accident at the airport. Participating agencies include Shannon Airport, Clare County Council Fire Service, An Garda Síochána Clare Division, the Health Service Executive, the Irish Coast Guard, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and Shannon Foynes Port Authority.

The two-hour exercise, code-named ‘Exercise Juliet,’ was based on a fictitious incident involving a Boeing 767-300 aircraft with 100 passengers and 10 crew onboard declaring a full emergency and diverting to Shannon. The simulation also involved the participants being told that the aircraft might have to ditch into the Shannon Estuary.

Commenting on the crash exercise, Shannon Airport’s Operations & Commercial Director Niall Maloney said, “Crash-exercises are conducted every two years at Shannon Airport as a condition of our aerodrome certification and we use the opportunity then in conjunction with the other emergency services to test the regional major emergency plan and site-specific arrangements for the airport. It was also an opportunity to test our airport’s state-of-the-art High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) fire tenders. Using cutting edge technology and equipped with thermal imaging cameras, these HRET’s allow firefighters to identify the hottest part of the aircraft, vital knowledge that is needed to suppress and extinguish aviation fires as quickly and efficiently as possible. The safety of our passengers, customer airlines and staff is paramount to us and today’s exercise allows us to test our readiness for a real-life situation should it ever occur. It is about ensuring that, if the worst-case scenario happens, we and our colleagues in the other attending emergency services are adequately prepared to respond.”

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