MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — If you’re flying out of Mobile Regional Airport today, you may notice some unusual activity. But don’t be alarmed, airport personnel and first responders will be conducting emergency drills until noon Tuesday morning.
The goal is to create realistic airplane accident scenarios to test their response times and make sure they’re well-trained in case of an emergency. A number of first responders will participate in the exercise as well as over 50 volunteers who will act as injured passengers and family and friends of those involved.
Marketing Coordinator, Devon Calametti, said even though it is hard to plan for accidents like this, it’s important to go through the motions to see how people will respond. “We can practice our communication skills, we can practice the ability to know which gate we want to enter and exit, we can practice where we can take family and friends to maybe put them in a private area,” said Calametti.
The Mobile International Airport won an award for their exercise simulation that demonstrated an emergency landing and rescue operation in Mobile Bay last November. Volunteers wore life jackets and were transported back to safety by boat.
President of Mobile Airport Authority, Chirs Curry, tells WKRG when these exercises take place and why they are required. “We do it every three years because we have commercial service airports,” said Curry. “We have the Mobile International Airport; we conducted a similar exercise last year and the Mobile Regional Airport which we’ll conduct this year. It is mandated by the FAA to ensure that we’re the most prepared in the case that some incident happens.”
Mobile Airport Authority does want everyone to know that this is just a drill, and it will not impact regular airport operations or scheduled flights.