WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Airport Authority conducted a large-scale disaster exercise Tuesday. The exercise started at 9:30, and lasted three hours. The exercise occurred north of Highway K-42 between runways 1L and 14. The exercise simulated an aircraft that crashed after a landing gear failure.
Airport police and fire crews, along with Wichita and Sedgwick County emergency crews, responded, extinguished the fire, and then treated the victims from the crash. The disaster exercise included approximately 300 officials and volunteers from various emergency management agencies.
“We get to do pretty much what would happen in real life,” said Wichita airport Deputy Chief Jason Jones. “It gives us the opportunity to really test our skills, and all the mutual aid agencies will be out there so everybody will be testing our skills and we’ll see what works and what doesn’t.”
The exercise is mandated every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration. However, for the agencies involved, it’s a way to test their skills and plans set in place for an aviation incident.
“All the training that we do will culminate into this exercise to see if what we’re doing is enough or if we need to do something more,” said Jones.
The Wichita airport has never had a commercial airline disaster, only general aviation disasters, but the plans they have in place must be tested in case there ever is one.