HOLIDAYMAKERS might be in for a bit of a surprise this morning as police, firefighters and paramedics frantically descend on Manchester Airport.

The airport is the scene of a massive multi-agency exercise, simulating a ‘real-life’ emergency response to a major incident.

The simulation exercise is taking place in the Bollin Valley area of the Airport where a large-scale response from the Airport and Emergency Services is being carried out.

A spokesman for the airport said it is a routine exercise and not a response to any intelligence or known threats to the airport.

Manchester Airport Operations Director, Rad Taylor, said: “The purpose of this exercise is to practice and showcase a coordinated multi-agency response to an aircraft incident in challenging and difficult environments.

“The exercise presents a challenge we hope we would never have to experience, but it is important for us to regularly train and be confident with the plans and procedures in place to deal with an emergency.

“As we want the exercise to be as real as possible for the emergency services involved, we don’t want to give too much about the exercise scenario away, however we wanted to let residents and passengers know beforehand and reassure them that there is no cause for concern.

“A full emergency response will take place to act out the scenario, however additional resources will be in place to provide a full response, should anything happen in ‘real life’ that requires a response.”

Flights operated as normal during the exercise and the Airport maintained normal operations throughout.

A large number of agencies were involved in the exercise including; Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Cheshire Constabulary, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Manchester Airport Fire and Rescue Service and the North West Ambulance Service.