YVR hosts multi-agency training exercise

Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) hosted a multi-agency training exercise simulating an aircraft crash. The event included more than 200 participants from 20 different agencies across Sea Island and the Lower Mainland. This training provides crucial opportunities to practice emergency response plans with business partners and the airport community. Airport operations were not affected by this exercise.

“At YVR, safety is our number one priority. We view exercises and training as an essential part of this commitment to safety by remaining prepared in the unlikely event of an incident,” said Robyn McVicker, Vice President, Passenger Journey at Vancouver Airport Authority. “I was pleased to see the level of coordination between all our partners and volunteers to effectively manage the simulated emergency. Hosting multi-agency training allows us to test our Emergency Management Plan in realistic conditions and helps refine our plans to incorporate the knowledge gained. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication in planning and participating in this full-scale exercise.”

Today’s training exercise simulated a mock aircraft crash. The scenario provided the opportunity for YVR and its multi-agency partners to respond to a fictional scenario in which an aircraft lost control during an emergency landing and crashed on the YVR runway. The simulated aircraft wreckage was attended to by emergency responders with a team of volunteers who played injured victims providing a realistic experience for players.

Emergency exercises are a key part of YVR’s Emergency Management Plan and the airport facilities a full-scale training exercise once every two years, per Transport Canada regulation. YVR’s Emergency Management Plan deals with all emergency situations including aircraft incidents, natural disasters, medical emergencies, security threats and biological hazards. It is refined on a regular basis to incorporate knowledge learned through exercises and the latest developments in airport safety and emergency management.

Due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s exercise was the airport’s first since 2019 and the largest non-military full-scale exercise to be conducted in British Columbia.

YVR employs a number of additional exercises on a regular basis to test protocols, procedures, communications and planning for emergency and/or security related incidents, and continued these through the pandemic under its standard course of operations. This includes live scenario training, table-top exercises, and emergency simulation drills.