• First airport in the country to conduct a simulated drill during late evening hours

Mumbai. 25 April 2019. GVK led Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) conducted a simulated emergency response mock drill (Full Scale Aerodrome Emergency Exercise) recently.

The mock drill was conducted by simulating a situation of collision between a passenger aircraft and a landing cargo aircraft during the late evening hours. The full-scale emergency exercise witnessed an involvement of more than 1000 participants. Starting the drill at 20:38 hrs., it was concluded at 00:34 hrs. on April 25, 2019.

The drill included participation of DGCA, Airlines, Ground Handling Agencies, hospitals, Mumbai fire brigade, Mumbai police, Indian coast guard, State Disaster Management Authority, and CISF. To make the mock drill realistic, a dummy aircraft was created by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL). IndiGo and GoAir were the participating airlines in the mock drill.

The exercise began when a simulated freighter aircraft (Flight No. XYZ 123, from Zurich-Mumbai) while landing assuming was set on fire as it collided with a passenger flight PQR 102 on ground. The Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting team of MIAL along with Mumbai Fire brigade personnel extinguished the fire. For rescuing the survivors on board, MIAL’s newly acquired best-in-class rescue stair was also used during the drill. The simulation also included 210 passengers and 6 crew members on passenger aircraft and 4 crew members on the freighter aircraft who were categorised into four categories of casualties. The casualties requiring hospitalization were rushed to 07 hospitals with whom MIAL already has MoU for responding to such contingencies.  

Officials from various agencies of the airport / airlines were deployed as observers to critically evaluate the response by various agencies and airport’s readiness to combat emergencies in real time. Apart from the airport departments, various external stakeholders such as state disaster management, CISF and city police were involved in handling the situation along with local police for panchnama of ‘deceased’ passengers allowing for movement of the deceased out of the airport.

Being international inbound flights, the customs and immigration departments played a vital role in assisting the passengers across nationalities after conducting necessary verifications. The exercise also involved foreign consulates participating in the mock drill. Arrangements were made for all rescued passengers to reunite with their family and friends after this traumatic incident. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization and DGCA regulations, it is a requirement for all airports and airlines globally to conduct a Full-scale Aerodrome Emergency Exercise once every two years. Commenting on this activity, MIAL spokesperson said,“We conduct this major drill once every two years with all our stakeholders. This is the first time an airport of this stature is conducting an emergency response drill in the night as we believe an airport needs to be prepared for any situation, 24/7. The objective of conducting this real-time simulated mock drill is to check the efficiency of procedures and responding personnel to minimize the effects of a real emergency while saving lives, property, environment without impacting flight schedules