Skip to Content

Indy Airport to Hold Live Emergency Exercise Today

More than 100 first responders, multiple local agencies and 100 volunteers will participate

INDIANAPOLIS (June 12, 2019) — The Indianapolis Airport Authority will test its airport emergency operations plan today with a full-scale, multi-agency emergency training exercise, involving airport personnel, first responders and participants from more than 35 organizations in the Greater Indianapolis Area.

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 aircraft emergency. During the exercise, critical functions such as incident command and control, rescue methods and procedures, and triage of injured victims are assessed.

“Timely and expert response during an aircraft incident is absolutely paramount,” said Keith Berlen, IAA senior director of operations and public safety. “Today’s exercise allows us to test and scrutinize our procedures, personnel, controls and more to ensure we are doing everything possible to prepare and respond timely and effectively.”

Berlen said more than 100 first responders will directly participate in the drill, and multiple organizations from the surrounding community, such as local police and fire departments, emergency personnel, hospitals, and public businesses that are located in close proximity to the airport, will also participate.

“It’s crucial that everyone is prepared in the case of such an emergency,” said Chief Rick Gentry, IAA fire chief. “In partnering with multiple agencies, we’re able to provide a training that not only tests us, but also strengthen relationships within the community.”

An actual aircraft will be staged at the scene of the exercise as well as a separate live aircraft fire trainer. Approximately 100 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 critical to the safety of the millions of travelers who pass through our airport every year, as well as the men and women who work at Indianapolis International Airport each day,” said City of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “I applaud the multi-agency collaboration that makes this important drill possible, providing our first responders with the most up-to-date training and tools for any scenario.”

Although normal airport operations will be unaffected, North Perimeter Road, West Perimeter Road, and Hoffman Road will be heavily traveled by emergency vehicles from various mutual-aid and other responding agencies from approximately 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.