Sydney Airport emergency exercise scheduled for today

By John Walton, November 28 2012
Sydney Airport emergency exercise scheduled for today

If you're at Sydney Airport this afternoon (Wednesday November 28) and notice a flurry of flashing lights and rescue vehicles, don't worry: the airport authorities, Qantas and a range of emergency services are just running a full scale test of the airport's emergency plan.

"Members of the public might see emergency vehicles in the vicinity of the airport," NSW Police warned in a statement. "This is an exercise only and there is no need for concern."

The emergency test, named "Exercise Soteria", will involve hundreds of volunteers playing the roles of passengers involved in a pretend incident, as well as their anxious families and friends.

The exercise kicks off at 2.30pm and finishes at 6pm.

"The exercise is part of the commitment by Sydney Airport and all the emergency service agencies to regularly plan for, prepare and test their skills for emergencies around the airport," explained Michael Roberts, Manager Emergency and Contingency Planning at Sydney Airport.

NSW's police, fire and ambulance services will be involved, as will the airport authority, airport firefighters, Qantas, Customs & Border Protection and air traffic control organisation Airservices Australia.

And if you were curious, the name of the exercise comes from ancient Greece. Soteria were, appropriately enough, festivals honouring the Greek gods for saving them from danger.

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John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Plat

21 Apr 2011

Total posts 39

Does anyone know where they look for volunteers, I would be fascinated to be involved in something like this.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 666

Hi Jordan -- yep, AIES is the place where this kind of thing is usually advertised.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Plat

21 Apr 2011

Total posts 39

Thanks John! Amazing information as always!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2207

Exercise Soteria was quite interesting. I volunteered and was assigned a role as a relative of someone on the 'flight'. There was a lot of waiting and being shuffled around, and the information flow was a bit slow, as everything is still handled on paper.

It was a very good educational experience, though, and hopefully the exercise has been valuable. Best part was the meal voucher for the Terrace Bar!

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