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….