JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) is expressing satisfaction with the results of the Full Scale Exercise (FSX) undertaken on June 2.
  • Mr. McDonald said the exercises are not only done to satisfy airport regulations but to ensure the safety of passengers.
  • The security exercise was conducted with no disruption to regular airport operations.

The Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) is expressing satisfaction with the results of the Full Scale Exercise (FSX) undertaken on June 2.

The six-hour activity tested the emergency management capabilities at the airport and the associated critical tasks.

Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ)/NMIA Senior Director, Alfred McDonald, told JIS News that the activity achieved the objective of evaluating the airport’s capacity to respond to security threats.

He said it also highlighted matters that needed to be considered as part of the improvement process.

“I think we had a good experience. We certainly had the response agencies coming to the table quickly and responding to the issues that arose during the course of the day so, overall, it was a very useful exercise. It exposed the fact that we certainly can respond but there are areas that we still need to look at,” he said.

Mr. Donald explained that a real-life situation was simulated with the participants being unaware of what was to unfold.

“We wanted to ensure that people didn’t come expecting what was going to happen next. It was very critical for us to see how they performed in that scenario and to the credit of many, we saw the kind of response that we needed to see. We also saw some areas that we could improve on and we are certainly going to be working on those,” he said.

“We were very happy with the response and persons did so in a manner that indicated that they understood what they needed to do and did so accordingly,” he added.

Mr. McDonald emphasised that NMIA takes the security regulations “very seriously”, with FSX done biennially along with regular table-top exercises (TTX) that involve key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. TTXs can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures.

Mr. McDonald said the exercises are not only done to satisfy airport regulations but to ensure the safety of passengers.

“What we are saying to the Jamaican public is that we are making ourselves as ready as possible to respond to any such eventuality. The public can be assured that we will continue to do these kinds of exercises so that we are always prepared,” he told JIS News.

The FSX involved response agencies such as the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica Customs, Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Jamaica Fire Brigade, and others.

The security exercise was conducted with no disruption to regular airport operations.