Accident drill at Bilbao Airport

Accident drill at Bilbao Airport
Accident drill at Bilbao Airport

This Wednesday, Bilbao Airport offered a somewhat different picture than usual. Firefighters, ambulances and various emergency services were to be seen in the vicinity of the La Paloma facilities. Despite the striking deployment, it was only a mock accident drill. A necessary exercise to evaluate the action and coordination procedures established in the airport’s Aeronautical Emergency Plan.

This plan is aimed at minimising the consequences that could result from an air accident, both in the airport’s movement area and in the area overflown by aircraft during take-off and landing operations.

With this exercise, the Basque aerodrome complies with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) regulations on emergency planning at airports.

This is how the exercise went

The scenario for today’s drill was the accident suffered by an aircraft outside the airport grounds, in the municipality of Derio. The aircraft, which was about to land on runway 12-30, lost altitude for unknown reasons and ended up hitting the ground near Derio secondary school.

After the impact, a fire was caused by the aircraft’s own fuel spillage. As a result of the accident, 8 of the 10 occupants of the aircraft suffered injuries of varying severity and the other two died at the time of the collision.

After learning of the incident, the Control Tower activated the alarm of the Bilbao Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (SEI) and provided the fire brigade with the location and all the information it had on the stricken aircraft. In turn, the Operations Coordination Centre alerts them to activate the emergency procedures, calls 112 Sos Deiak and carries out the rest of the actions foreseen in the Emergency Plan. The Main Command Post is set up in the terminal building and the Advanced Command Post in the area near the accident.

On arrival at the scene, the airport firefighters, together with the firefighters of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, proceed to extinguish the fire and secure the critical area of the aircraft.

During the first few minutes, the media alerted by Sos Deiak began to arrive at the scene of the accident. Firefighters and medical services attended to the victims in the vicinity of the crashed aircraft and rescued the injured.

Once the rescue area had been set up and the injured had been classified to determine the order of priority for their treatment and transfer, the medical personnel proceeded to stabilise and evacuate them.

The Scientific Police, together with the Basque Institute of Forensic Medicine, carried out the identification of the deceased, both at the accident site and in the emergency rooms, taking samples from the relatives present.

Meanwhile, both the relatives of the people involved in the accident and the uninjured victims are attended to and referred to the Family Room and the Injured Room, where their care is coordinated by psychologists and the person in charge of the Airport Victim Assistance (RAAV).