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Training Exercise 'Soteria'

28 November 2012
Category:Media Releases

Sydney Airport Emergency Exercise

More than 200 emergency service and Sydney Airport personnel will today (Wednesday 28 November 2012) take part in Exercise Soteria, a test of the Sydney Airport Emergency Plan in response to an aviation incident.

This exercise scenario will involve an aircraft crash on the airside of Sydney Airport as a result of a mechanical issue on-board the aircraft.

This exercise will involve the NSW Police Force, Fire and Rescue NSW, Ambulance Service of NSW, Sydney Airport, Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and Airservices Australia. It will commence at 2.30pm and conclude at 6pm.

Superintendent Karen McCarthy, Botany Bay Local Area Commander, said Exercise Soteria presents a unique opportunity for emergency services and Sydney Airport operators to practice response arrangements to a significant incident at the airport.

“To practice our response arrangements with Sydney Airport and the range of supporting agencies will not just benefit emergency services,” Superintendent McCarthy said.

“It’s also about the public having confidence in the ability of emergency services to respond to an emergency and work as cohesive partners.

“Being able to practice the arrangements at the airport allows us to deliver our response in the very environment we will be working in should we have a real incident.

Superintendent McCarthy added that the exercise has been months in planning.

“With more than 200 people from a variety of organisations involved, this is without a doubt one of the largest and most complex emergency exercises we have conducted,” Superintendent McCarthy said.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher said the exercise was important for both our emergency services as well as the public.

“While nothing compares to a real life emergency, exercises like Soteria provide our emergency services personnel with the opportunity to practice their skills,” Minister Gallacher said.

“NSW Police and our emergency service personnel are among the most experienced in the world and this exercise will provide them the opportunity to simulate a real emergency situation.

“The exercise also maintains public confidence that should an emergency arise, our police and emergency service agencies are well prepared and rehearsed to deal with any situation.”

Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said airports are required to conduct a full emergency exercise every two years. These exercises test every aspect of the airport’s emergency plan, including activation of the various facilities and resources available to support all agencies that would be involved in an emergency response.

“Sydney Airport is committed to the highest levels of safety and emergency planning and this exercise will see us partnering with our key stakeholders on what is an important part of our emergency response plan,” Ms Mather said.


 NSW Police Media Unit
(02) 8263 6100


Tracy Ong
Manager, Media and Communications

Sydney Airport

(02) 9667 6470 or 0437 033 479

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