Airport to hold emergency exercise

Drivers in the vicinity of the airport can expect traffic disruptions on Thursday as a mock aircraft emergency exercise gets under way at the Owen Roberts International Airport.

Police advise that traffic flow will be temporarily disrupted between 9 a.m. and noon, with road diversions in place from Crewe Road near Jose’s Rubis Gas Station west toward Smith Road/Walkers Road junction, the CNB roundabout on Elgin Avenue and Crewe Road/Owen Roberts Drive intersection.

As part of the exercise, emergency vehicles will be traversing these roads to and from the airfield.

West-bound traffic on Shamrock Road after 9 a.m. are advised to use South Sound Road, South Church Street or Walkers Road into central George Town. East-bound traffic from central George Town is advised to use Walkers Road.

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority and local emergency responders will carry out the mock emergency, which is titled “The Real Deal.” The exercise will have two parts – one on rendering emergency services in order to save life and property, and the other involving taking care of family and friends of plane crash victims during the immediate aftermath of the incident.

The goal of the emergency exercise is to test the readiness of emergency responders to handle an aircraft accident and form an organized response.

“Recent incidents have revealed that oftentimes victims’ family members who are at the airport during the time of the incident are not given up-to-date information on their loved ones because emergency responders are focused on dealing with the crisis,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Cayman Islands Airports Authority senior manager and chairman of the Airport Emergency Planning Committee.

“However, we would like that to change and we will do our best to ensure the victims’ families are treated with due respect and are well informed throughout the whole process up to and including the time they are reunited with their loved ones.”