Cape Town International Airport to test emergency readiness

Cape Town - Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) will activate a full scale Aerodrome Emergency exercise at 19:00 on Thursday 14 August. 

The exercise will be conducted at night with an approximate duration of 3 hours, Acsa said in a press release.  Normal airport operations will not be affected during the exercise, which usually takes place twice a year.

The exercise, mandated by South African Aviation legislation as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO will include various role-players such as the NSRI, Maritime Search and Rescue, the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management, the South African National Defence Force, Emergency Medical Response (EMS), South African Police Services and Traffic police amongst others.

“This is a full-scale exercise designed to thoroughly test emergency procedures and responses and includes all the participants which would be called upon in the event of a major aircraft incident at the airport. The main objective of this exercise is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Aerodrome Emergency Management Plan," said Deidre Davids, Communications Manager: Cape Town International Airport. 

“The exercise will pay close attention to establishing better communication flow between participants as well as testing command and control procedures.

“Ideally it should also highlight areas for improvement in our emergency systems when dealing with a major aircraft incident,"said Davids.

Members of the public may notice emergency response vehicles make their way to the airport and see other emergency response related activities and should note that these are mock activities and that airport operations will not be affected.               

This year’s emergency exercise scenario will involve a large aircraft with 150 passengers which collides with a light aircraft.  It will have 15 mock passengers on board. The large aircraft will crash-land at the airport while the light aircraft will have an emergency ditching at sea, in the False Bay area.

“An emergency response requires co-operation between various role players. This is why it is critical that we jointly test and rehearse our procedures on a regular basis,"said Davids.

In total there will be approximately 800 participants ranging from the various role players and other volunteers who will ‘act’ as passengers, meeters and greeters for the passengers on board, observers and so forth.