ORANJESTAD – Oranjestad – Aruba Airport Authority N.V.’s Crisis Management Team together with government agencies held a Tabletop exercise at Bureau Rampen Bestrijding (BRA) on Thursday June 1, 2023, in which key personnel assigned emergency management roles and responsibilities gathered to discuss, in a non-threatening environment, a simulated emergency situation of a local standby which upon landing escalates to a crash landing.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires all airports to conduct airport emergency exercises including Full-scale- (FSEE), and Tabletop exercises (TTEX) to ensure the adequacy of response of all personnel, emergency plans and procedures, and emergency equipment and communications. Full-scale exercises are held once every two years and Tabletop exercises are held at least once every year. Tabletop exercises is a type of drill, requiring only a meeting room, a large-scale map of the airport aerodrome, and a representative of each participating unit and agency in attendance. During the exercise, an accident location is selected on the airport aerodrome map and each participant describes what actions their unit and/or agency would take to respond. The exercise can reveal operational problems such as communications frequencies, lack of equipment, confusing terminology, and areas of jurisdiction.
In this year’s Tabletop exercise, AAA focused on review of findings during the last evaluation of the FSEE held last November in 2022 and on a few main tasks but not limited to support provided to government agencies mainly logistics within the airport premises, escort of government vehicles on the airside, coordination of bus transport to crash site and to medical center, security responsibilities and support to the Aruba Police force, Emergency Team duties, crowd control on the Landside area, cordon of crash site and keeping the area secure, assessment of damages to Airside facilities, and action plan to recover all facilities to open for aircraft operations as soon as the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has finalized investigations. The TTEX was observed and critiqued by the DCA to ensure compliance of the assigned responsibilities. AAA and government agencies shall submit a sequence of events report as part of the final TTEX evaluation.
AAA would like to thank all agencies involved for their participation in these types of exercises that are extremely important to ensure all agencies are duly informed, trained, prepared and committed to their respective roles and responsibilities in case of an emergency situation at the Airport of Aruba.