Practising for disaster: What on earth is going on at Geneva Airport?

Practising for disaster: What on earth is going on at Geneva Airport?

Forget the action movies you see on the big screen: the night of November 24 to 25 will see Geneva Airport transformed into a sea of sirens and vehicles, and at one point, the wreckage of two planes will be visible to the public. However, before you go and ring the police or fire brigade, bear in mind that what you are seeing isn’t real and is just part of an exercise.

Crisis exercise planned at Geneva Airport in Switzerland

In a statement, authorities in Geneva said that they will be carrying out a “crisis exercise based on a major and realistic event” on the night of November 24 to 25. The event will see the airport, emergency services and a number of other organisations take part in a so-called “disaster exercise".

The test is designed to simulate a real crisis and how the emergency services and ground staff would react. The statement explained that such a major test needs to be carried out in all Swiss airports every two years, in line with rules set by the government.

Disaster exercise involves wreckage of two planes colliding

This year’s exercise will test what would happen if two planes collided with each other while on the ground in Geneva. Authorities said that the wreckage of “two colliding aircraft” will be visible from the roads around the airport from November 18, but encouraged pedestrians and drivers to avoid congesting the area during the exercise as there will be a large number of emergency vehicles trying to get to and from the fake crash site.

Geneva Airport said that it will look to limit the number of sirens and alarms used during the exercise so as not to disturb local residents. As the test will take place after the noise curfew for air traffic, authorities confirmed that no engine noise from any aircraft will be used.

For more information, check out the official press release.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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