By Wendy Osher
The Honolulu International Airport served as the staging area for a triennial emergency response exercise this morning.
The realistic exercise, conducted as a certification requirement by the Federal Aviation Administration, tests airfield disaster preparedness and response by simulating the crash of a commercial airliner.
The exercise, conducted from 9 to 11 a.m., employed the use of 250 volunteers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University and airport personnel, who assisted and played the role of the injured. The exercise also included a live-fire simulation.
“An organized response to critical emergencies requires regular exercises such as this one to ensure that all agencies work as a single team,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “The exercise gives our first responders a real-world scenario that tests their response times and inter-agency communications,” he said.
Participating agencies included the Honolulu International Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting teams, Honolulu Fire Dept., American Medical Response, State Civil Defense, Federal Fire Fighting Teams, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Federal Aviation Administration, American Red Cross, Hawaii Air National Guard, National Guard, and United States Coast Guard.
Flight operations continued as normal during the exercise.