THE Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) held a full-scale airport emergency drill on Thursday to test the airport’s capability to respond under five minutes in the event of a plane crash, and the effectiveness of its emergency plan in rescuing passengers in an accident.
Responders, however, arrived two-minutes late, said MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal.
Monreal said the scenario was a Clark-bound plane carrying 75 passengers and six crew on board. The plane encountered engine trouble on takeoff, crashed at NAIA’s runway 13 and burst into flames.
The drill showed fire on the plane wreckage that was quickly put out by responding rescue and firefighting personnel using chemical foam.
Monreal said the MIAA has a fleet of nine fire trucks, each with the capacity of carrying at least 3,000 gallons of water, or an aggregate capacity of 15,000 gallons of water, aside from 500 pounds of dry chemicals in each fire truck.
Monreal said, however, that Thursday’s exercise was far from the real situation where rescue teams and fire engine trucks were much quicker and faster than what “we have seen today.”
He said that the minimum response of NAIA should be within five minutes but responders arrived two minutes late.
The emergency response capability is approximately two minutes from the NAIA’s Fire and Rescue building to the crash site as required under the ICAO standards.
There were also fire and rescue from different fire stations outside NAIA who also volunteered during the exercise.
Dubbed the 2017 Crash and Rescue Exercise (CREX), the CREX is held every two years in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Suggested and Recommended Practices (SARPS).
Among those who witnessed the exercise were different government and private agencies, including military units, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Pasay City local government, Office for Transportation Security, and Department of Transportation. BENJIE L. VERGARA