Authorities assessing response capabilities after NMIA test incident
Norman Manley International Airport.
Airport authorities say they are aware that Friday night’s exercise in which a controlled explosion was triggered at the Norman Manley International Airport, (NMIA), may have caused some level of concern for members of the public.
Alfred McDonald, senior director of Commercial Development and Planning at the Airports Authority explained that the incident was part of an emergency test.
McDonald said it was carried out to see how prepared local authorities were to respond to any such situation if they arise.
“It is something that we know is real (the possibility of similar incident) and certainly the public would have concern about any such activity that is why we need to test our system to ensure that we can bring such matters under control very quickly,” McDonald said.
Reports are that at about 7:00pm, a bag exploded in an isolated area in the checking hall of the facility.
The incident triggered brief moments of shock and panic among members of the public doing business at the facility.
This was however short lived as airport authorities later revealed that the explosion took place was part of a simulation exercise.
“We did in fact have an explosion in the checking hall at the airport which required the emergency response team to make an immediate response and also the national response mechanism,” said McDonald.
“Subsequently we understood that it was a planned simulation exercise that required the persons to response not to know that it was,” McDonald said.
“Thankfully it is not a real issue. The explosion was controlled and things are being assessed as to our response capabilities should in fact something real takes place. The public needs to be aware that we are testing those system and on this occasion this is a particular test that happened.”