Simulated plane crash tests airport emergency procedures

Local emergency services personnel and Cobar Shire Council staff tested their skills in a mock emergency scenario at Cobar Airport on Saturday. Photo contributed

A crashed plane, injuries, a missing passenger and fire—it all reads like the script of an action movie but that was the scene which greeted local emergency services at Cobar Airport on Saturday.

Thankfully it was all just a mock emergency exercise to test and develop the skills of the local agencies who would be involved in the event of a major incident at Cobar Airport.

Coordinated by Cobar Shire Council in conjunction with local emergency services, the mock exercise is part of Civil Aviation Safety Authority legislative requirements.

The simulated plane crash, which resulted in an injured pilot, missing passenger, chemical spill and a fire, tested the skills of Council’s Airport Reporting Officers and local Police, NSW Fire and Rescue, Rural Fire Service, Ambulance, and State Emergency Service personnel.

Cobar Shire Council’s Jo-Louise Brown said the exercise tests the Aerodrome Emergency Plan to ensure it is effective and current.

“It helps us make sure all required staff are well drilled in the procedures required in case of an emergency,” she said.

Mrs Brown said an assessor for each agency evaluated their performance and provided constructive feedback to participants.

“Council holds safety as its highest priority in operating the airport and appreciates the cooperation and input from all emergency service personnel involved in the exercise.”