x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Hundreds tackle air crash exercise

Hundreds of emergency workers take part in a drill at Dubai International Airport that tests their response to an aborted take-off.

DUBAI // Hundreds of emergency workers took part in a drill at Dubai International Airport yesterday that tested their response to an aborted take-off. Firemen, police officers, ambulance crews and staff from Rashid Hospital joined the four-hour exercise. Buses parked on the runway stood in for an aircraft, while 265 airport staff acted as passengers, with 30 playing the role of casualties who had to be air-lifted to hospital. The airport runs a full-scale exercise every year.

Neil Windeat, the vice president of airside operations for Dubai Airports, which manages the airport, said it had been "a learning experience for all the sections involved". He added: "Any procedures that can be improved upon will be dealt with as soon as practically possible." A spokesman for Dubai Police said everything had gone according to plan. Almost 300 people took part in a similar exercise at Al Ain International Airport at the weekend.

Speaking after that exercise, Mark Woodward, an aerodrome inspector and emergency management specialist for the General Civil Aviation Authority, said: "I cannot express enough the importance of emergency planning and emergency preparedness." gmcclenaghan@thenational.ae