Fiery plane crash simulated during airport disaster exercise

(Via KHON)

Honolulu International Airport
Honolulu International Airport

Honolulu International Airport was transformed into a disaster zone Wednesday morning, but it was all part of an exercise.

More than 400 volunteers took part in a triennial emergency response exercise, which simulated a full-scale plane crash.

There was even a fireball explosion to help test the response times of emergency operations.

The focus was on “health and safety, being able to attend to our passengers in a timely manner. We cannot replace lives so we need to be well-prepared for this type of event,” said Ross Higashi, Department of Transportation airports deputy director.

The exercise was conducted as a certification requirement by the Federal Aviation Administration, and tested airfield disaster preparedness and response by simulating a full-scale aircraft emergency disaster. The exercise is designed to test and evaluate the operational capacity of emergency response in a stress environment.

“The simulation will tell us where our weaknesses are and again there will be a debriefing on this and of course, this will better coordinate us for the real event, but again I hope this does not ever have to occur,” Higashi said.

Higashi said Wednesday’s exercise showed that everyone passed the test.

The multi-agency exercise, conducted from 7:30 to noon, included the City and County of Honolulu Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, American Medical Response, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam – Federal Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard – Honolulu Sector, FAA, state Department of Public Safety, Aloha Air Cargo and Hawaiian Airlines.

Flight operations continued as normal during the exercise.

airport disaster exercise 2

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