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BLR Airport Conducts Successful Challenger '24 Full-scale Mock Drill

  • 2024-02-29

Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR Airport) successfully conducted its 10th biennial full-scale aircraft emergency exercise, Challenger ’24, on Thursday, February 29, 2024. The exercise, aimed at testing and validating the airport's emergency plans and preparedness, was executed with precision and involved a multitude of stakeholders.

The Challenger ’24 drill simulated a scenario involving the crash landing of Challenger Flight number XX-9999. Over 2,000 participants from more than 85 organisations participated in the full-scale emergency exercise, which commenced at 1242 hrs.

Challenger ’24, organised under the aegis of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Govt of India, was attended by all domestic and international airlines, ground handling agencies, city hospitals, Indian Air Force (IAF), Police, Traffic Police, Air Traffic Services (ATS), Fire and Emergency Services, local communities and civil society organisations, aviation institutions and District Administration authorities.

The mock exercise scenario involved a realistic simulation, replete with an actual aircraft and 162 dummy passengers actively participating in the exercise. The exercise commenced with the simulation of a passenger aircraft catching fire during final approach for landing. The fire was promptly extinguished by the Airport’s Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) team, which is equipped with the most advanced firefighting systems with support from the IAF and KSFES firefighting teams. The ARFF team along with CISF carried out the rescue operation and those requiring hospitalisation were swiftly transported to city hospitals under pre-existing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Airport.


A green corridor was established towards the city to assess readiness, and a real-time airlifting drill was conducted. Helicopters from IAF too participated in the evacuation drill for critical casualty transportation to the IAF command hospital. More than 45 observers from various agencies belonging to different countries were deployed to evaluate the response and readiness of the Airport and its stakeholders.

Additionally, the deployment of the emergency call centre and toll-free number facilitated efficient communication and assistance for individuals seeking information and support during the simulated emergency scenario. The support centres for media management, passenger and family care, and reunification also played a crucial role in providing essential services and compassionate assistance to those affected by the mock emergency. 

Commenting on this, Hari Marar, MD and CEO of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), stated, "We undertake this significant full-scale drill biennially, engaging all stakeholders. The purpose of orchestrating this real-time simulated mock exercise is two-fold: firstly, to assess the effectiveness of our procedures and the readiness of our personnel in swiftly mitigating the impact of real emergencies; and secondly, to prioritise the preservation of lives and property. It's imperative that we achieve these goals while ensuring no disruption to flight schedules. I extend my gratitude to all internal and external stakeholders for making this possible. Such exercises provide opportunities for testing our capabilities, learning, and enhancing our crisis preparedness.”

Moving forward, the Airport will conduct a comprehensive debriefing and evaluation of the mock drill exercise to capture key learnings, recommendations, and areas for enhancement. These insights will be used to refine and strengthen emergency response protocols, communication frameworks, and collaboration among stakeholders, further reinforcing the Airport's commitment to safety and preparedness.

Challenger '24 underscores BIAL's commitment to maintaining the highest standards of safety and emergency preparedness as mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and DGCA regulations.

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