ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY CONDUCTS FULL SCALE EXERCISE AT PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
PITTSBURGH, PA (August 26, 2009) –The Allegheny County Airport Authority staged a full scale emergency drill on Wednesday, August 26, at Pittsburgh International Airport. The drill is held every three years and is required by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the airport’s operating certification under Part 139 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
“The safety of travelers and airport personnel is always the highest priority. Planning and practice for a major airfield incident is critical to ensuring the success of any emergency response,” stated Glenn R. Mahone, Chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
"The realistic simulation of a major aircraft accident is an excellent and practical way to assess the Airport's response to an actual incident. This comprehensive exercise demonstrates that the region is prepared to respond effectively to a major aircraft incident at one of the nation's best airports," said Dan Onorato, Allegheny County Executive.
“Our emergency response employees are continuously training; this multi-agency drill enhances our preparedness for an actual disaster situation,” said Bradley D. Penrod, Executive Director/CEO, Allegheny County Airport Authority. “A drill such as this gives us an opportunity to test our ongoing training in a more realistic setting, which allows us to better evaluate our readiness and abilities.”
Two drills took place in two locations and ran simultaneously at the C130 exercise location off of Harper Road and the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Training Facility. The C130 exercise location featured more than 100 volunteers as casualties of a simulated commercial airline crash. The exercise tested rescue and response. The ARFF exercise provided live fire experience for mutual aid fire companies on the aircraft simulating training system. A mobile command post was established between the two locations. The organizational structure of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) were implemented for drill response and management. NIMS provides a consistent format for emergencies and is a program of FEMA.
More than 50 public safety agencies were involved in the drill. Volunteers came from the School of Nursing at Robert Morris University and other companies including CDM, Michael Baker Corporation, dck Worldwide, PB World, ms Consultants, and SAI Engineering.