NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Coastal Carolina Regional Airport held a mass casualty exercise on Tuesday. These types of exercises are required for all airports to do every three years by the FAA.
Crews learned how to respond to an aircraft incident on one of the runways.
“This incident is instigated by an aircraft contacting a drone and then having a mishap, with this case, a crash on the runway,” said Andrew Shorter, the airport’s director. “We of course don’t have an airplane, so we used a bus instead.”
That bus served as an aircraft in the simulation with volunteers acting as the crashed plane’s passengers.
“The volunteers will be injured and they’ll do it tonight. They’ll be a sign with a card that shows what their ailments are,” Shorter added.
Once fire crews respond to the scene, EMS crews will follow.
“They find out if they have people that are walking wounded, that just wandered off. That’s just as bad as actually having a missing person,” Shorter said.
Airport officials chose to do it at night to make sure it gave crews a challenge.
“There’s blue lights, green lights, white lights, and there’s yellow lights, so it’s a chance for our mutual support that don’t do this every day to get out there and simply just look at the environment,” Shorter said. “People have it in their mind what it looks like on paper but then to come out here and walk through it in a very safe and controlled manner, that’s what we really need to do.”