Photograph: Arthur Ellis
A TWO-HOUR multi-agency emergency training exercise code named ‘ Exercise Charlie’ has concluded at Shannon Airport.
Responsiveness of agencies in case of a future emergency at Shannon Airport were tested under ‘Exercise Charlie’. The purpose of the exercise was to test the airport and agencies readiness in dealing with a major incident and allow them gain invaluable experience in a live simulated incident.
Tuesday’s two-hour scenario began at 10.30am and concluded at 12.30pm. The scenario for the simulated exercise involved a cargo aircraft diverting to Shannon Airport having declared a full emergency on route from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to JFK airport in New York. The plane had four crew members onboard all of whom complained of feeling unwell following a suspected hazardous cargo leak/spill at the rear of the aircraft.
Participating agencies included Shannon Airport, AirNav Ireland, Health Service Executive (HSE), An Garda Síochána (Clare Division), Clare County Council Fire Service, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), the Irish Coastguard and the Irish Defence Forces.
Commenting on Exercise Charlie, Director of Shannon Airport, Niall Kearns said, “The major incident training exercise was a huge success, and we were delighted with how well all participants worked together throughout. Safety is paramount to us here in Shannon and a multi-agency exercise like this allows us to assess our readiness for any incident that may occur in real-life and that our team here and our partner agencies are ready to respond”.
“These exercises are carried out every two years and based on a specific fictitious incident here, as part of our aerodrome certification. It was a fantastic opportunity to work with our colleagues in the local council, HSE, Gardaí, the Coast Guard, the Defence Forces, Shannon Foynes Port and AirNav Ireland and test our response to emergency situations”.
It was business as usual at the airport throughout the exercise with no disruption to flights or passengers travelling through Shannon Airport on the day.