FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2010
CALGARY, AB – A mock emergency response training exercise, Operation Soteria, took place this morning at Calgary International Airport (YYC). Operation Soteria, which simulated the crash of fictitious airline ‘Vega Airlines,’ provided multiple agencies with the opportunity to practice their emergency response plans and coordinate communication between airport agencies, airline and emergency agencies that would be involved in the event of an aircraft incident.
Numerous government and support agencies responded including the City of Calgary’s Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Calgary Police Service, Transport Canada, NAV CANADA and the Transportation Safety Board. Emergency response personnel treated and triaged a number of volunteer ‘casualties’ who were in full make-up and were given pre-scripted visible and hidden symptoms.
Approximately 55 invited observers were on-site from airlines, government and various support agencies to learn from witnessing the field response activities first-hand.
There was also activity in the air terminal with behind-the-scenes emergency coordination activities providing support to the incident and handling numerous simulated public inquiries. A ‘telephone simulation team’ responded to the inquiries, testing the airport’s ability to handle a high volume of calls in an emergency. Volunteer airline staff assisted ‘family and friends’ meeting Vega Airlines Flight 8911, while WestJet Airlines tested their emergency response plan by playing the airline’s role in and providing flight and cabin crew to the site simulation team.
“Training exercises like Operation Soteria are an essential part of putting into practice Emergency Response Plans, not only to assess how YYC’s plans work during an incident, but how they work in partnership with the participating agencies that also play a role in emergency response at the airport,” said Garth Atkinson, President and CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority. “Operation Soteria required months of planning by the Authority and our partners, and I am confident that lessons learned here today will only make our collective emergency response plans even stronger.”
For more information contact:
The Calgary Airport Authority