27 agencies, 600 people participate in simulated plane crash
RICHMOND, BC, April 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Vancouver Airport Authority today hosted its largest training exercise ever, simulating an aircraft collision on water and land. The training exercise involved more than 600 participants including Airport Authority staff, business partners and volunteers who enacted emergency response plans.
The exercise scenario involved a departing aircraft that attempts to return to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) after take-off due to engine complications. The aircraft crashes before it reaches YVR's runway and breaks into two parts. A simulated aircraft wreckage lies in the ocean and is attended to by a hovercraft and helicopter. Another simulated wreckage, set on fire, sits on land outside YVR's perimeter security fence. It is attended to by the Airport Authority and emergency responders. More than 100 volunteers played injured victims, passengers and family members, giving everyone involved a realistic experience.
The scenario was selected to involve as many responders as possible and to test the emergency response both on land and water. Planning for the scenario began in 2012 and agencies involved in the training exercise include: Air Canada, BC Ambulance Service, BC Coroners Service, Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Coast Guard, City of Richmond, Richmond Fire Rescue, Richmond RCMP, Transport Canada, Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
YVR's Emergency Management Plan centres around three principles—prevent, prepare and practice—and deals with any emergency situation, be it an aircraft incident; a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire or flood; a medical emergency; a security threat; or a biological hazard. The plan is assessed and refined on an ongoing basis to incorporate knowledge gained through real-life and simulated emergency situations, and the latest developments in airport safety and emergency management.
"Safety and security of our passengers, customers and employees is a top priority for Vancouver Airport Authority," said Steve Hankinson, Vice President, Airport Operations, Vancouver Airport Authority. "Today, we have the largest number of participants ever involved in an Airport Authority training exercise which means we have the opportunity to test our plans together, practice and make any improvements to our Emergency Management Plan."
Photos of the training exercise are available upon request from [email protected].
About Vancouver Airport Authority
Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, YVR served 17.6 million passengers in 2012, facilitated 261,000 takeoffs and landings and handled 227,000 tonnes of cargo. Sixty-eight airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 120 destinations worldwide. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2012, donated over $650,000 to community organizations. We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor.
SOURCE: Vancouver Airport Authority
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