The operators of George Town’s airport have planned a full scale aircraft emergency exercise which will take place this Thursday, 30th September. As a result of this exercise, there will be a short interruption of traffic on the roads surrounding the airport while the emergency services test their response times to the airport. Early morning traffic would not be impacted, organisers said, and any disturbance to the public would be kept to a minimum.
The Cayman Islands Airports Authority, which operates the Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman and the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport on Cayman Brac, will be conducting the exercise in accordance with international safety requirements in order to test the ability of airport staff and emergency response agencies to work together to form an organised response to save lives and limit damage to property.
CIAA Chief Management Officer Andrew McLaughlin said these types of exercises were necessary not only to fulfill a regulatory requirement but it also gave them a chance to test their emergency equipment and the skills of emergency responders, especially considering the interruption of aviation business the pandemic had caused.
“Additionally, this exercise will give the Cayman Islands Coast Guard, as well as the CI Regiment, an opportunity to show off their training in emergency response. The addition of these two entities is expected to greatly enhance our ability to deal with all type of emergencies in the future,” he advised.
The CIAA said it had enlisted the assistance of Travel Cayman to ensure the procedures used by the emergency responders took into consideration Covid-19 precautions and offered the best use of PPE to protect them while they performed life-saving techniques.
Volunteers would play an important role in creating a realistic scenario, portraying themselves as “victims” of the crash or as first aiders, they advised. The exercise will be monitored by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands as well as by appointed experts from each emergency response organisation. There will also be a security element added to the scenario, which will further stretch resources and test coordination of services.
To comply with International Standards, the CIAA stages a full-scale emergency exercise at both the Owen Roberts International Airport and the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport every two years.