Entebbe Airport recently conducted a successful full-scale fire response emergency exercise. The exercise aimed mainly at testing the ability of stakeholders to deal with a catastrophic emergency such as a fire in a crashed aircraft.
The 2-hour-long drill did not interfere with normal airport operations on Friday, November 4, 2022.
The scenario for the full-scale emergency exercise involved the simulation of a TIDA Airlines (pseudo name). An unidentified crew number operated the plane and it carried 250 passengers.
The imaginary plane in the simulation got cleared to land at Entebbe International Airport runway 12/30. However, upon touchdown, the aircraft “veered off the runway and caught fire. This was all part of the simulation that involved real-life flames on Friday mid-morning.
Firefighters from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Fire Fighting and Rescue Services personnel battled an actual fire.
The fire had been lit in a long-term parking lot as part of what planners described as a “full-scale exercise.” Besides the flames, local emergency crews were tasked also with dealing with over 250 people.
These included volunteers who posed as passengers at the scene of an aircraft “veering off the runway and catching fire.”
In the simulation, 30 people lost their lives, and 40 of the survivors had severe injuries.
The next part in the exercise then would be writing a report to identify the gaps and areas to be improved.
“The exercise is a mandatory requirement for international Airports of countries that are contracting member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization,” Mr. Fred Bamwesigye, the Director General of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority said.
Uganda last conducted a full-scale emergency exercise in 2019.
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