Gibraltar – 3rd December 2014 – The emergency services in Gibraltar were today put through their paces as a pre-planned Aircraft disaster exercise was simulated at the Gibraltar airport. Closely watched by the Civil Aviation Authorities the exercise was conducted to review the effectiveness of all the essential services from both the civilian and Ministry of Defence, with particular reference to Bronze and Silver command structures and response. A new emergency contingency plan was put into practice at approximately 1600hrs when a fire was lit at the airfield signalling the start of the exercise. The exercise saw the closure of key roads such as Bayside Road, parts of Glacis and Queensway creating traffic problems during the exercise. The first response was immediately seen from the Defence Fire services and the airport emergency units with the closure of the airfield. Some ten to twenty minutes later the first civilian emergency vehicles were allowed onto the airfield bringing together a joint operation between the Ministry of Defence and the civilian authorities. Speaking during the exercise both the Director of Civil Aviation in Gibraltar and Superintendent Ian McGrail of the RGP admitted that there had been some key issues raised during the early stages of the exercise which would be addressed. This included some problems in the response and initial co-ordination of civilian emergency services in relation to the initial safe rendez vous point prior to entering the scene of the accident. Other issues raised concerned the gathering of passengers trying to leave the area of the accident. A debriefing will take place later this week. During the exercise restrictions at the Gibraltar border with Spain where lifted by the Spanish authorities.
Gibraltarexercisemajor disaster exercisecommand support unitmajor disastermajor incidentaircraft disasterMinistry of Defencecivilcivil contingencycontingency plansRoyal Gibraltar policeGHAHealth authorityAmbulancecity fire brigadedefence fire servicesmobile unitpolice mobile unitthermal imagingradiosatellite linktraffic diversionsfrontier