Rwanda aviation news – Emergency drills at Kanombe International Airport trigger major incident response

The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority yesterday carried out a live fire exercise at the international airport in Kigali, for which all emergency services were put on full alert to test the state of readiness and response time should ever a real emergency arise. The simulation involved the imagined emergency landing of a 70 seater passenger aircraft with an engine on fire, overshooting the runway on touchdown and bursting into flames. With over 100 volunteers being drafted in to stage a real scenario of casualties strewn on the ground, the airport fire brigade and on site emergency first aid services were supported by units from the Rwanda Defense Forces, personnel and ambulances from Kanombe Hospital and the main King Faisal Hospital in the city, staff trained in emergency responses from RwandAir, Akagera Aviation and other airlines as well as the Rwanda Red Cross.
With few but the planners of the exercise aware the raising of the alarm and the smoke seen from the staged fire at Kanombe International Airport raised also an immediate onslaught by the media, trying to find out what had happened at the airport, only to be told that this was a drill, not the real thing.
Normal traffic continued to be facilitated at the airport with several planes landing and taking off during the training mission.
Meanwhile was it also confirmed that the Pearl Lounge at the airport is preparing to host the inaugural flight celebration on arrival of Qatar Airways on Wednesday, when the first ever scheduled flight by a major Gulf carrier is expected to land in Kigali. It seems all systems are go for that event, so watch this space for updates and live reporting from Rwanda.