The Australian Federal Police has concluded a four-week training exercise at Sydney International Airport, testing the coordination and response of members in the event of critical incident at the airport. The exercise is not in response to any specific threat.
The exercise took place during curfew hours, one night a week over the last month in the International Terminal.
The program simulated two different critical incident scenarios in the terminal, and focused on testing the immediate response and decision making of AFP aviation teams during the first 20 minutes after an unplanned event takes place.
The critical incidents requiring a police response at the airport could take a range of forms – including domestic violence situations, persons with mental health issues, or other forms of violence requiring an immediate response.
During the night-time exercise, teams revised the theoretical components of the incident command and control framework, and then took to the terminal around midnight to simulate the response to an unfolding major incident.
Acting Airport Police Commander Simone O’Mahony said the exercise is part of the AFP’s ongoing development programs.
“We’re continually taking steps to ensure passengers flying at Sydney Airport can feel safe, knowing authorities are well trained and ready to face any unfolding situation.
“The travelling public should take comfort in the fact this is part of our regular, ongoing programs which are adapted to the aviation environment and our first responders are confident to handle any major incident that may arise at the airport.
“There is no current threat to Sydney Airport – or the aviation sector more broadly – but that doesn’t mean we should become complacent. Exercises like this one help us to play out scenarios and run through what works and what improvements we can make, to ensure we are constantly learning.”