Port of Seattle holding emergency exercise at Sea-Tac Airport on Wed., July 12


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If you see or hear what appears to be an emergency at Sea-Tac Airport on Wednesday, July 12, don’t worry – it’s merely a full-scale exercise simulating an aircraft accident.

These emergency exercises are required every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and this one will run from around 6 a.m. to around 1 p.m.

Area first responders will participate in the exercise, and we are alerting our Readers of potential emergency vehicle activity you may see at the airport during this time – THIS IS AN EXERCISE ONLY.

Preparations for the exercise will begin as early as 6 a.m. with the exercise scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and conclude no later than 1 p.m. The exercise location will be on the far north end of the airfield below the elevation of the center runway near S. 156th St. A mock aircraft fuselage is in place at the site for first responders to practice.

The exercise will NOT affect or delay any air travel. Both of Sea-Tac’s two other runways will be open as normal and the exercise will NOT affect any customer activity within the terminal. Residents nearby the airport may notice emergency vehicles responding as part of the exercise.

Up to 150 volunteers will participate as ‘victims’ next to the mock aircraft fuselage which comes from a former Boeing 757 shipped from Moses Lake specifically for this exercise. Volunteers will arrive at approximately 6 a.m. for moulage (or make-up) to represent a variety of injuries that will test medical care triage practices.

Dozens of the King County area mutual aid police and fire agencies will participate in the exercise with an estimated 50 -75 pieces of equipment from fire engines to aid cars and up to 175 fire fighters. Additional police officers from the area are also expected to participate alongside first responders from the Port of Seattle Fire and Police Departments, Sea-Tac Airport Security, Airport Operations, Public Information and the Port Environmental team.

In addition, other key exercise participants will include airport and airline representatives, the FAA, Red Cross, King County Emergency Management Division, and the King County Medical Examiner.

A comprehensive report will be prepared post-exercise to identify any gaps in emergency plans and then prioritize follow-up corrective actions.

To see photos and info about a previous emergency exercise, click here.

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