The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), and other key response agencies successfully conducted a Full-Scale Simulation exercise at the Hewanorra International Airport, on December 11, 2020.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mandates that an Airport must conduct a simulation exercise every two years with the aim to test and evaluate the response and recovery capability of the Airport Authority and response agencies. These agencies include: the Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFF), the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), the Ports Police department, the medical services in this case St. Judes Hospital and the Port health facility at the Airport, the Airlines and other emergency services.
A full scale simulation of an airport or organizations alike allows for the facility and related entities to coordinate and measure their preparedness and effectiveness in responding to possible threats or actions that could render facilities less than effective or operable. Director of Airports, Lambert Remy, stated that;
“As an Airport Community, the simulation exercise remains paramount as it relates to testing our Airport Response Procedures. SLASPA's Crisis Communication Plan and the response readiness of the Emergency Operating Centre during an incident are also tested. The simulation is also timely as it comes in a period where Airports and Airlines have been forced to reexamine and strengthen existing procedures in light of our most recent pandemic, COVID-19."
Facilitator of the exercise, Ausbert Regis reiterated that the simulation placed particular emphasis on three pertinent areas of response; the time and quality of response and the level of resources both human and physical responding to the incident.