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Accident scenario tests airport response time
Published:  12 November, 2012

Passengers can rest assured that were there to be an accident at Luxembourg Findel airport; they would be in safe hands, if a recent exercise is anything to go by, writes Lyndon Dennis,RFF Shift Controller at Airports Company South Africa.

The exercise was conducted during October 2012, when the accident contingency operation put emergency services and aviation workers to the test when a potentially serious accident was simulated on the airport's runway.

The scenario saw a bus veering away from an arriving Boeing 737 and striking two cars, one of which caught fire. With a number of bus passengers injured and two car passengers dead, the control tower triggered the emergency alert, setting the action plan in motion.

Altogether around 150 people, including firefighters, medical professionals and airport management took part in the operation.

It is an ICAO requirement for airports to conduct and evaluate their emergency response procedures biennially.

So what does fleet renewal at CIMW has to do with accident response at Luxembourg Findel Airport?

It is a standard practice worldwide for international airports to have a MOU in place with local authorities with reference to emergency response in the event of an aircraft accident or incident.

During 2011 in conjunction with the Luxembourg Professional Fire a replacement programme was launched which resulted in the CIMW [Centre Intervention Wasserbillig-Mertert] ordering from Rosenbauer AG 2 ULF 9.000/750/120, industrial firefighting vehicles on Scania R440 6x2*4 MNB Chassis. These vehicles are configured to safely accommodate three crew including the driver.

The vehicle has impressive extinguishing agent capacity of 8000 l water, 1000 l foam concentrate as well as a DCP installation with a capacity of 750 Kg, and in addition a 120 kg CO2 unit is fitted. A Rosenbauer N55 normal pressure delivers water at a rate of 4000l/min at 10 bar and has crash tender style `pump and roll` capability. An Aquamatic 96 foam proportioning system takes care of foam management with proportion rates of 0,5%, 1%, 3% respectively. The vehicle has various rapid intervention installations for immediate agent delivery and application, most notably a bumper mounted RM15C monitor rated for 1500 l/pm at 10 bar as well as a roof mounted RM 25C monitor rated for 2500 l/pm with Chemcore nozzle for DCP delivery as well.

Rosenbauer comfort fixtures is standard and includes a hygiene board as well as fixtures for SCBA, and in line with scene safety integrated LED illumination fixtures and thus underlines the universal versatility of the vehicle.