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SB Airport to Stage Full-Scale Disaster Drill

Drivers on Hollister may see smoke as agencies practice aircraft emergency response

A full-scale disaster exercise of the Santa Barbara Airport’s emergency plan will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The purpose of the exercise is for local emergency organizations to gain practice and preparedness for a mutual aid response in the event of a major aircraft disaster.

Agencies participating in this year’s drill include the City of Santa Barbara police and fire departments and the Office of Emergency Services; Santa Barbara County fire, sheriff’s and coroner’s departments and the Office of Emergency Services; the City of Goleta; the Federal Aviation Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Transportation Security Administration; the California Highway Patrol; American Medical Response; the American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter; SkyWest Airlines; American Eagle Airlines; Mesa Air; Signature Flight Support; Atlantic Aviation; UCSB Police and medical response; SBCC (medical emergency role-playing volunteers); and the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (loan of bus to simulate a commercial aircraft).

The mock scenario for the full-scale exercise will involve a certain amount of smoke, thus vehicle drivers traveling on Hollister Avenue between Aero Camino and Los Carneros may see smoke coming from the airfield area northwest of the main runway.

The live exercise will be conducted in compliance with FAA requirements.

The Santa Barbara Airport maintains an emergency plan outlining response procedures and agencies that must effectively respond to and manage emergency situations that occur on airport property. Federal law requires that the plan be tested via a simulated incident every three years.

— Terri Gibson is the marketing and communications manager for the Santa Barbara Airport.

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