Full-scale emergency training conducted at Tucson International Airport

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 4:00 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - On Thursday, hundreds attended emergency training at the Tucson International Airport.

The training is required by the FAA to prepare agencies in and around the airport for a full-scale emergency.

It’s a yearlong process to come up with the drill for the training. Agencies practiced a real-life scenario that can happen anywhere with an aircraft. The goal is to be prepared, just in case.

“It’s not every day you have an incident at the airport, but we have a mindset of being 24/7, 365 prepared for any issue we have at the airport,” said Jessie Allen, director of marketing and strategic communications for the Tucson Airport Authority.

Around 200 people from different agencies as well as volunteers participated in the full-scale emergency exercise. The scenario involved malfunctioning landing gear. 80 passengers needed to get out of the aircraft safely and be checked for any injuries or other medical emergencies.

″The importance of this triennial drill is really to practice our emergency action plan,” Allen said. “It’s one of our requirement from the FAA to create one, practice it, develop it, and update it continuously.”

One of the response teams with a big part to play Thursday was Red Cross.

″Red Cross is the lead outside agency that was designated by the national transportation safety board to assist with family assistant centers and family reunification,” explained Mike Sagara, the public information officer for Red Cross.

The Tucson Airport Authority is required to conduct this hands on training at least once every three years. The scenario is different each time, but the mission is the same.

″What we’re hoping to find out is where our weak links are, if there are any, and perhaps sharpen them up and see what we can do better next time, what we did good this time, and just make sure we’re on the same page,” Sagara said.

Now that the drill is complete, evaluators for each agency will go over what went right in the drill and what needs to be improved in the future.