MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – Every three years, the FAA requires a full-scale test of Midland International Air and Space Port’s emergency plan. That will happen again on Friday at 8:30 A.M.
“We will have multiple emergency response personnel – police and fire – as well as involvement from all of the airlines, the airport and local hospitals,” said airport operations supervisor Maelyn O’Connor.
O’Connor says the drill is important to make sure all problems can be addressed and that the airport’s plans are updated before any emergency happens.
“So, in case of a real emergency, of course we want everybody to know where they need to go and what they need to do, so it’s really important that we test this drill,” O’Connor said.
Because of the pandemic, the airport says they were not able to get an airplane to simulate an aircraft emergency. Instead, there will be a school bus at the mock crash site, with multiple barricades and emergency personnel.
In addition to the simulated airplane crash, airport security and TSA will be working on their preparedness, as well.
Midland and Odessa police and fire departments will be at the airport, too. We’re told first responders will head to the crash site as if it were an emergency. They will be released from their holding spot according to their expected response times. Crews won’t have to take any major thoroughfares.
“They will be staged just outside the airport, so they will only have to take Business 20 to get to the airport,” O’Connor said. “This year, because we don’t have volunteers, we’re really trying to focus on scene preservation, which is a really big issue with the NTSB.”
That means documenting the scene and making sure emergency crews don’t disturb the scene anymore than they need to, in order to save any victims.
The airport will remain open and no flights will be impacted. The drill is happening on a ramp at the airport.
MAF will update its social media pages to inform the public of the drill. Signs will also be posted in terminals to alert travelers of the drill.