Exercise No Go swings into action

A plane with smoke billowing out from the cabin will play out in a mock emergency field exercise at Mackay Airport tomorrow. The full field exercise is the first time in two years Mackay Airport will conduct a simulated emergency event designed to test the Airport’s coordination response.

Exercise No Go will take place on an aircraft bay in an exercise that will also test the preparedness and communications between agencies.

The multi-agency drill will involve more than 80 people including volunteers and personnel from Airservices Australia, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, Aviation Rescue Fire and Fighting Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, Australian Red Cross, Mackay Base Hospital. Mackay Hospital and Health Service (MHHS) Emergency Management team will also participate as well as airport stakeholders.

Kucom Theatre actors and local volunteers will put their acting skills into practice as injured passengers, and Mackay locals Ashling Scanlon and Talia Holmes will add their moulage skills, to add some realism to the emergency practice.

Exercise No Go will transform Mackay Airport into a ‘incident site’ and test first responders’ actions to an emergency on airport.

North Queensland Airports Chief Operating Officer Garry Porter said the exercise follows months of planning and was an important part of the Airport’s ability to test its plans and decision making on airport in a practical way.

“The exercise allows us to run through our procedures and implement our training in a realistic environment testing our Airport Emergency Plan and first-responder actions as well as communications between the agencies.

“We can only conduct an exercise like this with the help and assistance of all the agencies involved as well as volunteers, and its their support that enables us to refine our crisis management on airport and we’re incredibly thankful to all those involved.”

The exercise will test the coordination and communication of the Airport and is part of Mackay Airport’s obligations under CASA and held bi-annually.

In addition to the live exercise, a table-top version of test readiness, decision-making and skills is run every second year.