The National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) six-day basic training programme aimed at enhancing the preparedness of Airport Emergency Handlers to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies got under way in Bengaluru on Monday.

Hosted by Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), operators of Kempegowda International Airport Ltd (BLR Airport), the programme is held from November 12 to 17. Over 50 trained participants from various agencies responsible for operations and maintenance of the BLR Airport took part.

The specialised training programme concludes with a mock drill along with sensitisation of over 200 working staff of the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru on the final day.

The programme, the tenth in the series, is being conducted in collaboration with Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The first day of the session covered Case Studies on CBRN emergencies, safe handling of chemicals at the airport and mitigating chemical warfare agents.

Experts from Department of Atomic Energy, Automic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, National Disaster Response Force, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will continue to train the participants on various aspects of emergency management.

Initiated in 2017, the NDMA CBRN emergency management programme has been rolled out for 12 critical airports in India. Over 500 personnel from across airports, including Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Varanasi, Patna, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad,Chandigarh & Raipur, have been trained in these specialised skills.

Commenting on the programme, Javed Malik, BIAL Chief Operating Officer said, “CBRN Emergency preparedness is a critical aspect of emergency management. This training programme conducted by the NDMA will go a long way in ensuring that the first responders at our airports are equipped to manage natural or man-made disasters and have the resilience required for crisis response. This programme will also create awareness about the policies, guidelines and best-practices related to disaster management, enabling a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management.”

The programme consists of live demonstrations of detection and decontamination, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Airport Emergency Handlers will be trained to provide first-aid and initial psycho-social support.