Monday, October 2, 2023

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport Conducts Emergency Response Exercise

By Carmelo Turdo
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, IL conducted an emergency response training exercise on September 26 as part of the FAA's certification requirements for the airport. Along with the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and Scott AFB first responders, crews from Mascoutah and St. Clair County also participated. Members of the local media were invited to observe the activity, and The Aero Experience coverage begins with the initial briefing from Airport Director Darren James.

"Every three years we have to run a full-scale exercise, so that is exactly what we're doing," James told the media before the exercise began. "We need to prove to the FAA we have the ability to handle air carrier emergencies, specifically, an aircraft accident."

Airport Director James emphasized four objectives to accomplish during the exercise: Effective communication among agencies and personnel involved; appropriate response from emergency services; operational incident command; and activation of the air carrier emergency plan. The scenario involved a KC-135 from the 126th Air Refueling Wing based at Scott AFB posing as a commercial airliner that made an emergency landing following a bird strike that damaged one engine (assuming it to be an Airbus with only two engines). The two buses beside the aircraft simulated an open aircraft fuselage requiring rescue of ambulatory and immobile passenger victims. 

The pictorial below illustrates the order of emergency responders arriving on scene as they assess and react to the situation:


MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is located adjacent to Scott AFB and receives both military and civilian air traffic, including Allegiant Airlines Airbus A319 and A320 commercial aircraft that serve twelve non-stop regular and seasonal destinations. Successful application of a mass emergency response plan is critical to the continued operation of both the commercial and large tanker and transport aircraft that regularly use the facility. The Aero Experience thanks MidAmerica St. Louis Airport management and everyone who participated in this important emergency response exercise.

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