A mock drill was conducted at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad to test the emergency response protocol from 11 am to 1 pm on Wednesday.
According to a source, the drill was a full-scale emergency exercise to deal with the aircraft, and record the response time of the crew. “Such exercises are mandatory and happen almost every month to revise the protocol,” a source told this paper.
The exercise was carried out during the “no-aircraft movement” period, said a statement from Adani Group which runs the airport. This was to ensure that no disruption occurred to the normal operation of the airport.
“An artificial aircraft was prepared based on Airbus A320 passenger aircraft — the most common aircraft in use. It was about handling an issue of hydraulic failure in the engine, due to which an emergency landing was made, followed by a crash,” said Om Jadeja, Divisional Fire Officer at Ahmedabad Fire & Emergency Services (AFES), who was part of the drill.
“This continued effort is to remind and ensure all agencies and team members are sensitised about their role in times of emergency,” said the Adani group, which manages the Ahmedabad airport, in a statement.
As per Jadeja, during the exercise, two dispatch units, each from Naroda and Shahpur fire stations, were sent to the “crash site”. One contingency task force was deployed containing 25 firefighters at work, and it took 14 minutes to
respond in the shortest time from the Shahpur station, which is the nearest, according to him.
“Over 600 airport staff including the fire service, city police, nearby city fire brigades and ambulance crews from three hospitals were involved in the exercise. To ensure no disruption to the airport’s normal operations, the exercise was carried out during no aircraft movement period,” said the Adani statement.
According to Jadeja, over 30 vehicles were at disposal, six from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation fire department, 18 from the police department, six ambulances and vehicles from other governmental agencies.