Princess Juliana Airport: Rescue teams participate in a full-scale exercise


Princess Juliana International Airport was particularly busy last Wednesday, both for travelers and employees. Firefighters, police and ambulances were deployed to part of the airport to intervene during an emergency exercise, which involved a serious plane crash during the takeoff phase.

Part of the tarmac was used from 9 a.m. to 00 a.m. as part of the biannual exercise, set up by airport managers, the government of Sint Maarten and the Department of Disaster Management. This exercise is a standard and mandatory requirement at airports, which is validated by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and which is used to assess the emergency plans and procedures of the various organizations involved in an accident. plane, on the runway or near the airport.

The scenario for this full-scale exercise involved 125 passengers and crew on board a Boeing B-737. During the take-off phase, the tire of the left landing gear burst and the wing struck the runway causing a tear in the wing structure and the rupture of the fuel tank.

Due to the speed of the aircraft and the strong friction against the runway surface, the spilled fuel was sprayed onto the engine exhaust which caused spontaneous ignition. The scenario indicated that the impact had had serious consequences on the fuselage, and had resulted in the blocking of the main exit doors.

The fire chief of Sint Maarten firefighters indicated that the exercise was a success and that the evaluation team would judge the various activities carried out by the rescue teams, as well as the behavior during the various interventions during the exercise. The Airport Emergency Planning Committee will then meet to examine the reports that will be submitted by the assessment team and, if necessary, suggest improvements._RM

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