The Joslin Field, Magic Valley Regional Airport will conduct the facility’s largest emergency drill at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, as part of an exercise to implement and test the airport’s emergency plan.
More than 20 local, county, state and federal agencies, as well as several volunteers, will participate in the drill, which will stage a mock ground collision between commuter aircraft. The scene will be staged as realistically as possible without endangering emergency responders or volunteers.
Several new exercises have been added to the airport emergency drill, which will make the drill larger and more complex but will also provide emergency responders with experience based on incidents that recently occurred at other airports in the United States.
“The emergency drills serve as a significant training tool for our emergency responders,” said Jim O’Donnell, airport advisory board member and drill coordinator. “They give us an opportunity to test our responsiveness and to identify areas of improvement, so that we can remain prepared for any potential incident.”
New to the drill this year is the addition of crowd control and how to work with passengers family members during a disaster. As part of the drill, sections of the airport terminal will be closed to the public. All flight traffic will continue without delay.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires the airport to conduct a full-scale drill at least once every three years to test and implement the airport’s emergency plan. The Magic Valley Regional Airport reviews its emergency plan extensively on an annual basis, but is only able practice the plan during the drills.
Media and public officials will meet at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of Reeder Flying Service, located at 644 Airport Loop in Twin Falls. Airport officials will brief observers on the drill and the airport’s emergency plan. City, county, state and federal officials will also be available for questions following the drill.