Airport Holds Tri-Annual Disaster Drill

Airport Holds Tri-Annual Disaster Drill

On May 23 the airport holds its tri-annual disaster drill. Media are invited to attend. The drill should be particularly visual this year.

Normally these drills work like this: firefighters and medical crews respond to a reported plane crash. When they get to the scene they find plane parts strewn about, and actors with mock injuries. There is no smoldering fuselage, no fire. When it comes to realism, the exercise falls short.

This year realism gets a boost: there’s going to be a mock airplane, and it’s going to be on fire (like the one in the attached photo). Airport firefighters, along with crews from the Willard, and Springfield fire departments, will respond to the scene. Firefighters will have to put the fire out and then search the plane. Actors will be scattered about portraying injured and deceased passengers. Ambulances will come from Cox and Mercy hospitals.

In a real disaster the biggest challenge for emergency responders is typically communication and working together. Disaster drills help work these issues out. The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to have these drills. If the airport didn’t do them, it would lose its certification to provide air passenger service.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

Moulage (the applying of makeup to resemble injuries; makes for good visuals) begins at 10:00 am. The “crash” occurs at Noon. The drill is expected to last about two hours.

WHERE: The old airport terminal, located at 5000 West Kearney, Springfield.

PARKING: enter the horseshoe drive of the old terminal. Drive to the south end of the building. Parking will be reserved for media, immediately in front of the old bus transfer shed. Red cones will mark the parking area.