The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which investigates civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the UK, its overseas territories and crown dependencies, provided two days of training for our local first responders last week. The AAIB, in conjunction with the CAACI, co-hosted this training with three instructors from the AAIB in the United Kingdom, Mr. Mark Jarvis, Mr. Chris Scott and Ms. Emma Truswell. The training focused on what to do in the initial 48hours after an aircraft accident by the various agencies involved, until the AAIB can arrive on island to formally assume the investigative role. The topics covered included information on how to preserve evidence, how not to contaminate the investigation site, issues regarding flight operations and airworthiness that impact upon such investigations and the basics associated with the initial multi-agency response.
The Family Life Centre was the host to over 60 first responders or agencies that would be involved in the response to a serious incident or accident representing the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI), the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, Cayman Airways, Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), Health Services Authority, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control (CBC) and the Ministry of Health.
The two days were packed with presentations and breakout sessions for all attendees. Mr. Richard Smith, Director General of the CAACI said, ‘We are very happy to have had such a wonderful turnout from all departments. We hope that we will never have to use such training, however, it is our responsibility to prepared for such an incident, should it occur.’
The CAACI has full designation for safety oversight as a UK OT, and is one of only three OTs to enjoy such delegation. The CAACI is responsible for both technical and economic regulation of the Cayman Islands’ aviation industry. In addition, the Cayman Islands is classified as Category 1 by the USA Federal Aviation Administration under their “International Aviation Safety Assessments” programme that evaluates a country’s civil aviation authority’s ability to effectively regulate its aviation industry. The requirement for such rating lies with the CAACI being assessed as having technically qualified and highly experienced staff to effectively oversee the aviation industry in accordance with established standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).