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MIAA conducts crash and rescue exercise

AviationUpdatesPH.com – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) conducted a full-scale simulated emergency exercise on Friday, August 4, to test its emergency response capability and preparedness.

Handout photo from Manila International Airport Authority

The exercise, called the Crash and Rescue Exercise (CREX), was held at the airside premises of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The scenario involved a commercial aircraft bound for Subic that suffered a left engine malfunction during takeoff, causing the aircraft to crash.

The exercise was attended by representatives from MIAA, Cebu Pacific, and other government agencies, including the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Red Cross.

This year's exercise also marks the first time that Cebu Pacific's Accident Site Go Team was deployed.

“Cebu Pacific prioritizes safety and has established processes when it comes to emergency response. We thank the MIAA for the opportunity for us to train together to help ensure that communication systems are in place in the event of a multi-agency response,” Cebu Pacific President and Chief Commercial Officer Xander Lao said as the airline demonstrated its emergency response, particularly in providing support to victims as well as processing and cross-matching victims and family members.

“This exercise puts our communication and coordination system to the test, not only among MIAA offices but also with our external partner agencies,” said MIAA Officer-in-Charge Bryan Co. “We want to assess primary and secondary responders’ ability to respond to an aircraft crash and the resulting mass casualty event, including rescue and fire suppression, treatment and transport of survivors, and crash site security.”

The exercise was a success, and MIAA was able to effectively respond to the simulated emergency. The aircraft was quickly extinguished, and the survivors were rescued and transported to the hospital.

“As this is a multi-agency response to a simulated emergency, assessment activities will be done after the exercise, where stakeholders are welcome to share their observations and raise comments and suggestions to improve our airport emergency plan and coordination system. The response is a community effort, and we appreciate everyone’s contribution in our quest to maintain the global standards of safety and security in NAIA,” Co said.

“We would also like to thank our secondary responders for their support: Pasay City General Hospital, Ospital ng Parañaque, San Juan De Dios Hospital, Philippine Airforce, Las Piñas General Hospital, Philippine Coast Guard, Taguig City Fire Station, Manila Medical Center, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) – Makati, Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group, Las Piñas City Fire Station, BFP Parañaque, Philippine General Hospital, Philippine Red Cross – Pasay City Chapter, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority,” Co added.

The CREX is held every two years, but the full-scale exercise may not be conducted if the airport’s emergency plan was activated. The last full-scale CREX was held on October 19, 2017.

NAIA is rated as a Category IX airport, while MIAA’s current rescue and firefighting capability is Category X compliant, making it ready to respond to an airport emergency involving an Airbus A380. With the support of highly skilled fire and rescue personnel, a medical team well trained and experienced in aviation medicine, a fleet of modern firefighting and medical vehicles, pneumatic aircraft lifting systems, and various other rescue equipment, the MIAA Emergency Services department is on par with its counterparts in the region.

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