Sea-Tac Airport: “Pay no attention to the dead people on the runway”

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to test their airfield disaster preparedness and response at least once every three years.

That’s probably a good thing.

But airport runways are busy places, so it’s sort of hard to go all out and have a “true to life” test of what it would be like if there was a real disaster.

Luckily, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has a runway that’s not yet operational. So they’re putting it to good use: today, between 9 am and noon, Sea-Tac’s soon-to-be-activated third runway will be used to conduct a full-scale emergency exercise simulating an aircraft crash.

They’ll be 100 volunteer ‘victims’ strewn about next to a mock-up aircraft fuselage smack in the middle of the runway and lots of wrecked cars. Dozens of police and fire agencies will “respond” with fire engines and aid cars.

Sounds gruesome; but if Sea-Tac Airport does have an airfield disaster, it’s good to know they’ve at least had a run-through on the runway.

Can’t you just hear the pilot’s announcements today? “Ladies and gentlemen: don’t be alarmed by all those dead people on the runway.”

This is only a test….

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