You’ll see a lot of movement and vehicles on Thursday morning, October 18, if you are in the area of the Norman Manley International Airport. But don’t worry it’s a necessary safety drill.
NMIA Airports Ltd (NMIAL) will conduct a full-scale Aviation Safety Exercise named W.A.V.E.S (Water & Aviation Emergency Simulation) at the Norman Manley International Airport, Palisadoes on Thursday, 18 October 2018 commencing at 7:30 a.m. It is scheduled to end at 11:30 a.m.
This full-scale exercise (simulated aviation safety crisis management) will be conducted at NMIA Jetty, located west of the Fuel Farm. All staged activities will be carried out within the Kingston Harbour and on the property of the airport, except the five corporate area hospitals which are located offsite.
Normal airport operations will continue during the exercise with minimal inconvenience to airport users and stakeholders. NMIA is mandated by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Act and Regulations, in keeping with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention, to conduct full-scale airport emergency exercises biennially and tabletop exercises in the intermediate years. Multiple emergency response agencies, including the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), JDF Air Wing and Coast Guard, Jamaica Constabulary Force Marine division, Ministry of Health, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) among others, will join the NMIA emergency response team in testing and evaluating the Airport Emergency Response Plan (AERP). The exercise will involve a simulated aircraft crash within the Kingston Harbour with multiple victims. All agencies will be responding as if this was an actual event, but this is only a drill. Numerous emergency rescue boats and large numbers of emergency vehicles and personnel will be at the simulated crash site (Kingston Harbour) and the NMIA Jetty respectively. Actors portraying victims will be triaged, treated, and transported from the simulated incident site as if this were an actual emergency. The goal of the exercise is to familiarize emergency personnel with the limitations of working within the restrictions of an airport environment and to identify potential strengths and shortfalls.