Information Minister Khieu Kanharith has announced that the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation in early November will conduct a second aircraft crash drill in Preah Sihanouk province in order to test the aviation body’s readiness to handle emergencies.
The exercise will take place at Sihanoukville International Airport and will include participation from SSCA, Health Ministry and National Police officials, Mr Kanharith said. The SSCA conducted its first crash drill in 2017.
Police, the military, firefighters and doctors in the province are also expected to participate in the drill, which will test their disaster response abilities.
Mr Kanharith said the sirens of emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police cars and fire trucks are to be tested as well.
“During this operation, authorities must facilitate traffic and pave the way for [first responders] to perform well in order to prepare for real life situations,” he said, noting that the public will be notified in order to avoid misunderstandings.
Sinn Chansereyvutha, an SSCA spokesman, said the exercise will provide an opportunity for the airport community and related parties to practice cohesive cooperation and teamwork.
“The operation is expected to take place over just one day and we will not set an actual date in advance. It has to be something [spontaneous] because we want to make it real,” Mr Chansereyvutha said. “Although we would not sacrifice a real plane for this drill, we will set fire to boxes and containers.”
Mr Chansereyvutha added that two crashes will be simulated; one at the airport, while another will take place at a less-populated area.
The Civil Aviation Training Centre of the SSCA, with funding from South Korea, had set up 26 training courses in 2018 after 261 trainees successfully participated in 2017’s 15 courses, said CATC director Lim Kao.
CATC has been operating since 2013 to hone the civil aviation communities skills.