6 March 2018

A series of major incidents at Heathrow Airport were successfully tackled by students from West Nottinghamshire College in February.

But these were just staged incidents tailored by British Airways for travel and tourism learners from the college’s Derby Road campus. The group of 13 spent a day at Heathrow on an emergency training day, specifically designed for trainee cabin crew staff.

Amongst the tasks, students were taught how a pre-flight health and safety demonstration is given to passengers, inside a mock air cabin.

The group were then involved in a smoke evacuation procedure, learning how to safely and effectively guide passengers to safety, as well as discovering the safe way to extinguish an on-board fire.

The pressure was added when the group were also instructed how to respond if a pilot becomes incapacitated and the survival techniques for landing a plane on water.

Student Ellie Brailsford, 17, from Edwinstowe, said: “I absolutely loved it! It was most certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially at my age because you need to be 18 before you can even apply to be cabin crew.

“It was amazing and gave us a real insight into what it is like training to be a cabin crew team member.

I went on the training day not knowing what I wanted to do. I was thinking about cabin crew but wasn’t set on it. After the day at Heathrow, I will definitely be applying for cabin crew jobs once I’m 18.”

The training centre has a range of demonstrator models for trainee air cabin crew to practise emergency drills including an inflatable slide, which students were able to use, and is deployed in the case of an emergency evacuation.

The students, who are all studying on the BTEC Level 3 programme in Travel and Tourism are studying with careers in mind such as holiday representatives, events managers and air cabin crew.

Travel and tourism tutor Andrew Cornish said: “This is the second year we’ve organised this training exercise and once again it’s been a massive success. All the students really engaged well with the training and the representatives at British Airways spoke very highly of the students.

“It’s been very useful to those students who are considering careers as cabin crew members and they were able to see some of the specialist skills and techniques they’d be expected to have.”

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