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PH’ NAIA rescue teams passed CREX with flying colors

TO ENSURE the proficiency of its rescue teams in responding to emergency situations, the Manila International Airport Authority on Thursday held the 2017 Crash and Rescue Exercise which simulated an airplane crash and passenger rescue in the country’s premier airport.

According to MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal, last Thursday’s exercise assumed that a Clark-bound plane carrying 75 passengers and six crew on board has encountered engine trouble while takeoff and crashed at the NAIA’s Runway 13 and burst into flames. The exercise showed how the team put off the fire using a chemical foam and rescue the stricken passengers.

YouTube Video courtesy: DOTr

He said the exercise, which is held every two years in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Suggested and Recommended Practices (ICAO-SARPS), showed that the NAIA responded well beyond the time required by ICAO.

Monreal said the minimum response time of NAIA should be within five minutes but last Thursday exercise showed that the responders arrived at the crash site from the NAIA’s Fire and Rescue building in only two minutes, way beyond the time requirements set by ICAO.

At the same time, Monreal said fire and rescue teams from different fire stations outside the NAIA also volunteered to participate during the exercise.

Among those who witnessed Thursday’s CREX were the different government and private agencies, including military units, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Pasay City local government, Office for Transportation Security, and Department of Transportation.

Meanwhile, the Monreal disclosed that the MIAA has in its lists a fleet of nine fire trucks, each with the capacity of carrying at least 3,000 gallons of water or an aggregate capacity of 15,000 gallons of water, aside from 500 pounds of dry chemicals each fire truck carries.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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