This Saturday 18 May, a large-scale disaster exercise was organised at Brussels Airport. This exercise, supervised by the Governor of the Province of Flemish Brabant, is part of the provincial disaster plan and meets the safety requirements of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which every European international airport must satisfy. Some 500 people participated.
Every two years, Brussels Airport organises a disaster exercise involving the services of Brussels Airport as well as external emergency services and the organisation of an emergency plan from the province of Flemish Brabant. The goals are to test the emergency and intervention plan (EIP) and put into action the various stakeholders during a full-scale exercise. This year, the fire brigade, the security and safety services of Brussels Airport participated in the exercise, as well as the fire services, the Federal Police, the State Council, the Civil Defence, the Army and the medical intervention services. In total, about 500 people were mobilised, and among them, more than 100 extras, Red Cross volunteers or staff members from Brussels Airport, playing the victims and the passengers.
The exercise simulated a collision on the tarmac between a Boeing 737 from the Ketair (*) company with 81 passengers on board (+4 crew members) and a bus transporting 36 passengers on the way to their plane. The collision caused a fire on board the plane and unfortunately, injured and dead people are to be regretted. Enough to trigger the provincial emergency response plan.
The disaster exercise, which lasted a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes went very well. During the debriefing with all stakeholders, all steps will be reviewed in detail. The aim is indeed to allow all stakeholders to be able to pay attention to possible improvements in their working methods.
Brussels Airport, 18 May 2019
(*) A “ket” is a little Brussels boy in the local dialect.