A disaster simulation was carried out last week at San Javier airport replicating a crash between a C-101 military aircraft belonging to the display team, la Patrulla Águila, and a commercial passenger aircraft.
The exercise was managed jointly by the civilian airport authorities and staff from the General Air Academy (AGA).
The simulated crash took place on the airport runway which then became a platform to evaluate emergency procedures, its action and coordination, as well as to analyse its effectiveness and the degree of knowledge and integration of all the groups involved in the practise.
Students from the IES Mar Menor and CIFP Hespérides acted as ‘extras’ in the simulated accident.
Whilst authorities hope that such procedures never have to be acted out in reality they do need to be practised on a regular basis. All situations have to be mirrored as closely as they can so that staff are fully acquainted with the internal emergency procedures of both the Civilian and the Military airports.
The objective of this exercise was to check and evaluate the procedures, action and coordination, as well as to analyse its effectiveness and the degree of knowledge and integration of all the groups involved in the management of an aerial emergency.
The scenario used had a military aircraft C-101 crashing into a passenger aircraft, type A319, which was parked on the aircraft platform and was preparing to disembark its passengers. The crew of the C-101 had two military pilots, and the commercial aircraft carried 70 passengers plus the four members of the crew.
Following the impact the control tower immediately sounded the general alarm. The simulation then implemented a sequence of actions for each of the elements involved in the emergency.
In addition to those from the AGA and Aena, other external agencies were also included, such as the local Government, the emergency service 112 involving Civil Protection units from Murcia, San Javier, Los Alcázares, Torre Pacheco and San Pedro del Pinatar, 061 Health, Red Cross, the Consortium for the Extinction of Fire and Salvage, the Civil Guard, the National Police, the Local Police of San Javier and the Medical Institutes of Cartagena and Murcia.
In the simulation, the reaction and response times of all the groups, both internal and external, were analysed by evaluators from all of the different organisations, so the lessons learned will be used to make appropriate modifications to the respective emergency plans.