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Finavia updates emergency evacuation plans at all Finnish airports

An official probe of a 2017 aircraft evacuation incident found serious deficiencies in procedure.

Image: Mikko Koski / Yle

Finnish airport operator Finavia has updated aircraft evacuation and rescue plans at all airports in Finland, reports the Lännen Media news service.

The update follows an investigation by the Safety Investigation Authority of a 2017 incident involving the evacuation of an airliner at Turku airport in December 2017.

During that incident, Finnair’s scheduled service departed from Helsinki to Gothenburg, Sweden, but diverted to Turku after smoke appeared in the cabin of the Embraer 190 operated by Nordic Regional Airlines. The captain elected to evacuate the 100 passengers and four crew members after landing. The smoke was caused by the failure of the air cycle machine in one of the aircraft's two air conditioning packs. The incident did not result in injuries.

Among the deficiencies found during the probe was that Turku airport's emergency plan had not taken into account the need to ensure the availability of vehicles for the transportation of large numbers of people.

The Safety Investigation Authority also stressed that it must be ensured that passengers follow evacuation orders and leave carry-on baggage behind. It said that groping for carry-ons in an emergency shows blatant disregard for others and may cause deaths or injuries.

Under the new Finavia rules, an aircraft must be able to be emptied of passengers within 90 seconds.

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