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Terminal Building Evacuation Exercise completed at Princess Juliana International Airport

(L to R) – Acting Manager of Quality Assurance, Deshawn York, Chief of Rescue and Firefighting Department, Manilo Penijn, Chief Operations Officer, COO, Michel Hyman and Manager of the Quality Assurance, Connally Connor during the Terminal Building Evacuation Exercise.

Simpson Bay, St. Maarten (June 3, 2021) – The cooperation from passengers along with the Airport community was effortlessly achieved during a live terminal building evacuation exercise at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

The SXM Airport’s Rescue and Firefighting Department (R&FF) prearranged a drill that simulated the immediate response and evacuation procedures, which should be used during all instances of a crisis and emergency within and encompassing the terminal building.

Following the activation of the fire alarm system, both passengers and the Airport community were instructed to evacuate the airside and landside at the SXM Airport following the general evacuation announcement at 8:47 am.

Rescue and Firefighting team exits the SXM Airport during the Terminal Building Evacuation Exercise.

The R&FF long-established that the evacuation exercises are in accordance with the Fire Safety and Evacuation plan of the Airport. Although the general public was put on guard beforehand about the date of the exercise to curb any possible panic, the time of the drill was not disclosed, to lend to an effective evaluation of a response during an evacuation.

According to the Chief of the Rescue and Firefighting Department, Manilo Penijn, “The biennial exercises were implemented to assess the specific functions relating to the emergency response capabilities of the Airport’s emergency preparedness. The management levels which were tested included the Strategic, Tactical, and Operational levels. It is also a requirement within the Aerodrome Manual to perform an emergency evacuation exercise twice a year.”

Following the usual debriefing, the exercise was completed in cooperation with the Princess Juliana International Airport Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Serving as evaluators were the SXM Airport’s Quality Assurance Department and the local Rescue and Firefighting department of the St. Maarten. The emergency evacuation drill was called off at 9:10 am when normal operations were restored.