CIVIL Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) area manager for the Laguindingan Airport said airport personnel successfully staged Wednesday, January 11, an airport emergency preparedness drill to "test the capability of the airport personnel during worst-scenario situations."
Jose Budiongan said the drill, which was assessed by officials from the Safety Oversight in Manila, a simulation of a plane crash inside the airport, was chosen from among 15 possible emergency scenarios.
Several flights were delayed to give way to the 9 a.m. to 12 noon activity, Budiongan said.
Officials of the Safety Oversight Office assessed the performance of the airport personnel as well as the response of government agencies.
"Ang atong scenario nga gibuhat is naay nahagbong nga airplane within the airport, aron at least ma aware and ma-test ang atong capability together with the assistance with the local government units and government agencies and we can be prepared for any eventualities," he said.
"Atong gipili ang (We chose the) plane crash scenario because isa kini sa pinakabug-at nga (one of the biggest) emergency that an airport could ever experience, and we try to test how we would react on this scenario and possibly minimize damages, bottomline is to save lives," he said.
Budiongan thanked passengers who were patient enough to wait for the three-hour drill to finish.
He said they also informed the airline companies of the plane crash drill.
"Amo kining gipili nga oras kay kung naa man gani maapektuhan, duha lang ka eroplano, so na-delayed lang gamay ang pag-abot hinuon," he added.
The Laguindingan airport, which opened in 2012, serves as the main airport of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities in northern Mindanao, and a counterpart of the Davao International Airport in Southern Mindanao.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 12, 2017.