Large-scale disaster exercise at Brussels Airport this afternoon


A large-scale disaster exercise is taking place this Saturday afternoon at Brussels Airport. This exercise, organised by Brussels Airport Company and led by the Governor of the Province of Flemish Brabant (where the airport is located), is necessary for the renewal of the airport certification by EASA.

Operational activities at the airport are not impacted during the 6 hours of the exercise.

Such exercises must be carried out every two years and include the simulation of the crash of an aircraft. Three hundred persons participate in today’s exercise, coming from various authorities: airport staff, police, defence, fire brigades, medical services, all coordinated by the province of Flemish Brabant.

Due to the Covid crisis, the exercise was moved from spring to autumn and passengers were replaced by dolls.

Here is the full report of Brussels Airport:

Large-scale emergency exercise at Brussels Airport


Every two years, Brussels Airport organises an emergency exercise involving Brussels Airport, external emergency services and the Province of Flemish Brabant’s emergency planning department. The goals are to test the Special Emergency and Intervention Plan (SEIP) and mobilise the various stakeholders and partners in a full-scale exercise. The last such exercise was held on 18 May 2019. The emergency exercise was originally planned for April this year but was postponed, due to the current health measures, until the autumn of this year. In coordination with the Directorate-General Aviation, necessary alternative measures were implemented to ensure compliance with the Provincial Emergency Plan until the exercise was held on 23 October.

On Saturday 23 October 2021, Brussels Airport Company organised the emergency exercise in collaboration with external emergency services, including fire brigades, medical emergency services, the Federal Police, the Ministry of Defence, the local authorities concerned, and the emergency planning department of the Province of Flemish Brabant. The emergency exercise tested the effective operation of internal and external procedures and the implementation of the new Special Emergency and Intervention Plan (SEIP). This exercise should result in the airport’s certification being renewed.

The overall scenario for the exercise was determined in consultation with the province, the emergency services and external partners. To make this scenario as realistic as possible, most actions were simulated live using a training aircraft, taking into account the necessary sanitary measures. The exercise simulated the crash of a KetAir aircraft following a landing gear malfunction and the ensuing accident which resulted in deaths and injuries to passengers and crew. The provincial emergency plan was triggered.

The disaster exercise, which lasted more than 6 hours, went very well and did not impact the operational activities of the airport. It ended with a joint debriefing to consider how all stakeholders could improve their working methods.