PHOTOS: Sydney Airport's emergency drill

PHOTOS: Sydney Airport's emergency drill

A Qantas Boeing 747-400 didn't crash at Sydney International Airport yesterday. But if it had crashed, the airport authority and emergency services believe they've successfully tested everything they would use to respond to a major airline disaster.

As part of the 'Exercise Soteria' emergency drill held yesterday afternoon, the mock crash was caused by a mechanical failure onboard a Qantas Boeing 747-400, although further specifics of the scenario were not released.

Oh, and an airport bus was used in place of an actual aircraft. (After all, those 747s cost money!)

Australian Business Traveller reader and photojournalist Angus Mordant attended the exercise and shared his observations, and these great photographs, with us.

Hundreds of volunteers played the roles of passengers involved in the incident on the 747-bus, as well as their anxious families and friends awaiting news of loved ones' miraculous rescue or grisly demise.

The initial stages of the exercise involved the ‘plane’ coming to a crash-landing stop before rapidly being surrounded by the fluorescent yellow aviation rescue & firefighting trucks which had been mobilised upon alert of the crippled inbound aircraft.

Other emergency teams followed to assist with evacuating the 'aircraft', treating the volunteer casualties and taking precautions in case the 'plane' were to burst into flames.

Part of the operation -- which also had a 'back office' element -- was designed to test the coordination between Australian and overseas airport, airline and emergency personnel.

“Being able to practice the arrangements at the airport allows us to deliver our response in the very environment we will be working in should we have a real incident,” said NSW Police Superintendent Karen McCarthy.

“While nothing compares to a real life emergency, exercises like Soteria provide our emergency services personnel with the opportunity to practice their skills,” added Michael Gallacher, Minister for Police and Emergency Services.

“The exercise also maintains public confidence that should an emergency arise, our police and emergency service agencies are well prepared and rehearsed to deal with any situation,” Gallacher concluded.

For more insider information and everything you need to know about business travel, follow @AusBT on Twitter!

John Walton

John Walton

@thatjohn

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.
 

6 comments

  • othy

    othy

    29 Nov, 2012 12:14 pm

    747 bus...they should have simulated an A380 or A330...then airbus puns could have flowed freely...

    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    29 Nov, 2012 01:02 pm

    It's alleged that we were supposed to get a proper plane, but it was recalled due to maintenance.

    No member give thanks

  • Peabody

    Peabody

    29 Nov, 2012 04:03 pm

    When I was notified of the exercise nearly a week ago it was known that it would be a bus and not a plane. The exercise wasn't about the plane as much as it was about the response. 

    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    29 Nov, 2012 09:34 pm

    I had dinner with three Qantas employees who acted as 'passengers' (I was a 'relative' as I don't have an ASIC) - we hypothesised just that, that it was about the ground handling rather than the plane itself.

    An important component was the relative reception service, which is apparently new and was tested for the first time yesterday.

    No member give thanks

  • Peabody

    Peabody

    30 Nov, 2012 12:35 am

    Can you tell me any more of the relative reception? This element wasn't open to the attending media so I was unable to see it.

    Thanks,
    Angus Mordant

    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    30 Nov, 2012 02:18 am

    Essentially, you're registered as a relative waiting for a passenger on the stricken flight, and are held in a special area away from the arrivals hall. You're kept up to date, and you're called aside when they find your relative, to be sent for reunion.

    That is the procedural structure, and I'm not too comfortable releasing any more.

    No member give thanks

Guest

19 Jun, 2019 09:25 pm

×
×

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.

×

Resend activation email

If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.

×