A large scale major incident exercise took place at St Helena Airport on Wednesday 4 November 2015, as part of the Airport certification audits.
The emergency scenario simulated a crash landing at the Airport with a total of 55 passengers and crew onboard the aircraft. This exercise was very challenging with many of the people on board suffering a range of injuries. The response was led by the Airport fire fighting team and other staff, supported by the St Helena Police, Fire & Rescue and Sea Rescue teams, Health Directorate staff and senior managers and Directors. The exercise was also made possible by the large number of volunteers who participated as role actors, safety marshals and umpires (see photo attached).
Chief of Police, Trevor Botting said:
“This was a big day for St Helena Airport and was the culmination of much hard work over the last year as we developed our emergency response capability. I was very proud of all the officers and staff from St Helena who responded to the exercise with enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism.
“One of the most impressive parts of the exercise was the way in which teams from SHG worked very closely and effectively with teams and staff from the Airport. I am confident that the collaborative approach taken on Wednesday will stand St Helena in great stead for the future as we strive to keep St Helena and the Airport safe. I also want to say thank you to all of those who gave up their time as role actors and marshals for the exercise and who helped make it a great success.”
Airport Manager, Nigel Spackman added:
“This was a very important event in the certification process for St Helena Airport as it’s essential that we instil confidence in the Regulator of our ability to react as a cohesive group in our response to an incident.
“Much planning, development and commitment has gone into preparing for this exercise – and taking place alongside other audits made it all the more challenging.
“The feedback I have received from the Regulator has been very positive indeed, commenting that our interagency working was impressive and our emergency response was better than at many well established Airports. I am very proud and thankful to all those who contributed to this effort.
“This has established a robust foundation for our continuing efforts to ensure the Airport has the best possible emergency response – and will help to ensure the travelling public are confident in our ability to keep them safe.”
6 November 2015