Multi-agency training exercise at Shannon Airport declared ‘huge success’

Successful emergency readiness training exercise held at Shannon Airport. Photo: Arthur Ellis.

A MAJOR incident training exercise that took place at Shannon Airport this week to test the response of the airport and those who would be called upon in the event of a major accident was hailed as a “huge success”.

The exercise, codenamed Exercise Charlie, took place on Tuesday (November 7), and was a two-hour scenario that saw agencies respond to, and work together on, simulated emergency involving an aircraft needing to divert to Shannon Airport. 

The scenario for the simulated exercise involved a cargo aircraft diverting to Shannon Airport having declared a full emergency on route from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to JFK airport in New York.

The plane had four crew members onboard all of whom complained of feeling unwell following a suspected hazardous cargo leak/spill at the rear of the aircraft.

The idea behind the exercise is to allow the agencies gain invaluable experience in a livsimulated incident. 

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Participating agencies included Shannon Airport, AirNav Ireland, Health Service Executive (HSE)An Garda Síochána (Clare Division), Clare County Council Fire Service, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), the Irish Coastguard and the Irish Defence Force. 

Director of Shannon Airport, Niall Kearns said: “The major incident training exercise was a huge success, and we were delighted with how well all participants worked together throughout.  Safety is paramount to us here in Shannon and a multi-agency exercise like this allows us to assess our readiness for any incident that may occur in real-life and that our team here and our partner agencies are ready to respond.”

“These exercises are carried out every two years and based on a specific fictitious incident here, as part of our aerodrome certification.”

“It was a fantastic opportunity to work with our colleagues in the local council, HSE, Gardaí, the Coast Guard, the Defence Forces, Shannon Foynes Port and AirNav Ireland and test our response to emergency situations,” Mr Kearns concluded.

It was business as usual throughout the airport and Exercise Charlie had no impact on flights or passengers travelling through the airport.