Mr. Speaker, I rise today to provide an update on the Bermuda Fire
Rescue Service Airport Operations Division.
The Bermuda Fire Rescue Service operates the Airport Rescue Firefighting Services which provides aircraft rescue and firefighting services for the L.F. Wade International Airport. This is an
essential service that enables the airport to serve international commercial flights.
Skyport is the LF Wade International Airport’s Aerodrome Certificate Holder. The certificate is issued by the Bermuda
Civil Aviation Authority to Skyport.
Mr. Speaker, The Airport Rescue Firefighting Services is a Retained
Government Service as part of the airport project agreement between
Skyport and the Bermuda Airport Authority. The Bermuda Airport
Authority are responsible for managing the Retained Government Service and have transferred responsibility for the delivery of the Airport Rescue Firefighting Services to the Bermuda Fire Rescue Service by way of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007 with an amendment in 2017. There is no fee paid by Skyport to the Bermuda
Airport Authority or the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service for this service.
Since 1995 the accepted minimum duty strength at the airport has required three crews of five firefighters which has enabled the airport to provide a response category rating of 9. A rating of 9 is
required for large commercial jets including British Airways’ Boeing
777 aircraft service to Bermuda.
A February 2022 Skyport Audit of the Airport Operations Division increased the required firefighter minimum duty strength from five (5) per crew to fourteen (14) per crew, in order to maintain a category 9 response rating for the airport.
The Bermuda Airport Authority have retained a UK Civil Aviation Authority Rescue Fire Fighting expert to review the revised requirements and minimum duty strength. The expert has completed his on Island review and his report is expected shortly. This will form the
basis of further discussions on the minimum duty strength requirements
at the airport with Skyport and the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority.
Mr. Speaker, the ten (10) overseas firefighters are a temporary measure
to ensure that the airport continues to operate as normal. Once we have
agreed the final minimum duty strength requirements for the airport, we
will look at all options for meeting those requirements and I will provide
an update to this Honourable House at that time.
In closing I would like to thank the women and men of
the Bermuda Fire Rescue Service for their service and in particular to
those who have stepped up at the airport to meet this challenge. I would
also like to thank the executive of the Fire Service Association for their
support in this matter.
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