On Tuesday morning, May 26, 2009, there was a full scale emergency response disaster exercise at the Princess Juliana International Airport involving the Airport and the Island Government Emergency response agencies. This emergency exercise drill is a requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN Specialized Agency. ICAO is the global forum for civil aviation. It works to achieve its vision of safe, secure and sustainable development of civil aviation through cooperation amongst its member States.
The objective of the exercise was to assess the level of preparedness and coordination between the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company and the Island Emergency agencies in response to a simulated aircraft, and exercise the mass causality plan.
The goals were to monitor:
1. Response to alarm notification
2. Response of fire fighting and rescue units
3. Medical response
4. Response of the government agencies and PJIAE
5. Command and control
6. Crash site security
7. Primary communication
8. Victim and family care
Besides the Emergency Response Teams, there were other Government Sectors and Departments who took part as observers of the emergency drill.
After the drill, there was a debriefing session, where several evaluators provided their analysis of the execution of the emergency exercise.
There were evaluators from Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, Anguilla, and the French side, who each gave short comments on the exercise in the areas of Operations, Medical, Rescue & Fire, Police and Security and Civil Aviation.
Both President of PJIAE drs. Eugene Holiday and Fire Department Chief Winston Salomon extended a heartfelt thanks to the volunteers, participants, and personnel.