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Indy Airport to Hold Live Disaster Exercise Today

Emergency vehicles and smoke on the airfield may be visible to public, motorists

INDIANAPOLIS (June 8, 2022) — The public, local residents and motorists near the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) may see emergency vehicles and smoke on the airfield today as the Indianapolis Airport Authority will test its airport emergency operations plan this morning.

The Airport Preparedness Exercise, or APEX, required by the Federal Aviation Administration to take place once every three years, evaluates airport operations plans in the event of an emergency. During the exercise, critical functions such as incident command and control, rescue methods and procedures, and triage of injured victims are assessed.

Although normal airport operations will be unaffected, North Perimeter Road will be traveled by emergency vehicles from various mutual-aid and other responding agencies from approximately 10 a.m. until noon.

This full-scale, multi-emergency training exercise will involve airport personnel, first responders and participants from more than 30 organizations in the Greater Indianapolis Area.

An actual aircraft will be staged at the scene of the exercise as well as a separate live aircraft fire trainer. Volunteers of all ages will serve as disaster victims and survivors, complete with theatrical make-up and moulage to create mock wounds and injuries.

“This exercise is part of our preparation to respond to an aircraft incident here at or near the Indy airport,” said Keith Berlen, IAA senior director of operations and public safety. “Today we pull together more than 100 first responders, combined from our facility personnel and those from the local community to test and scrutinize our procedures to ensure we’re doing everything possible to be timely and effective in event of an aircraft disaster.”

Berlen said first responders from local police and fire department, along with emergency personnel, hospitals, and public businesses, all directly participate in this tri-annual drill.

“In partnering with multiple agencies, we’re able to provide a training that not only tests us, but also strengthens relationships within the community,” said Chief Fred Pervine, head of IAA fire department.