Press Release - EXERCISE

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News Release

Multi-agency exercise to test airport emergency response plan

Simulated aircraft crash to challenge airport operations, first responders with nighttime “worst-case scenario”

AUG. 11, 2016 | AIRPORT STAFF 

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ENGLEWOOD, CO -- Centennial Airport will conduct a full-scale disaster response exercise Aug. 16, 17 and 19 on the west side of the airport, designed to challenge operations personnel, South Metro Fire Rescue, paramedics and local law enforcement with an after-dark "worst-case" scenario.

More than 85 volunteers from the community will make the three-evening simulation as real as possible, donning moulaged mock injuries and assuming roles as disaster “victims.”

“This exercise will test not only our own preparedness, but that of our partners, as well,” said assistant airport director, Lorie Hinton. ”While we hope we never have to use these skills in an actual emergency, it’s exercises like this, ahead of a disaster, that build important relationships and foster multi-agency coordination long before they’re ever needed.”

Specifically, the exercise will test the airport's emergency plan for mutual aid response, enabling airport personnel and local first reponders to train together and validate response procedures.

"While South Metro Fire Rescue prepares for emergencies by training daily on every aspect of all-hazards response, most of our hands on-training is conducted within the SMFR training system, said Eric Hurst,” South Metro Fire Rescue public information officer. “The opportunity to partner with Centennial Airport for a full-scale exercise centered on aircraft response provides our firefighters and paramedics with the best learning experience possible.”

“The value for the airport, first responders and the community cannot be overstated,” said Fran Santagata, preparedness program manager for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "Exercises ensure coordinated responses that help minimize injury, loss of life and loss of property.”

With no scheduled commercial airline service, Centennial Airport is a general aviation airport, and is not required by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct recurring disaster preparedness drills, as are airports that hold Part 139 certificates.

“However, based on the number of aircraft operations we have, we feel it’s the right thing to do,” said Hinton. “Every exercise teaches us something new and improves our response—and we owe the best response possible to our partners, tenants, airport users and the community.”

“AirLIFE Denver is honored to join with local EMS, fire and police for this vital training exercise. The commitment to training and improvement by these multi-disciplinary agencies allows us all to improve our emergency responses and ultimately be prepared for any worst case scenarios in our community,” states Kyle Dahm, Director of Operations for AirLIFE Denver.

The exercise will have minimal impact on flight operations, but nearby residents and motorists may notice numerous emergency vehicles, as well as plumes of black smoke between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m. on designated training nights.

About Centennial Airport

Located in the heart of the prestigious Denver Tech Center, Centennial Airport (APA) connects people, places and product at the speed of flight. With more than 300,000 operations per year, it ranks among the busiest general aviation airports in the nation, generating approximately $1.4 billion in economic impact. Under the direction of the Arapahoe County Public Airport Authority, the airport is home to four award-winning FBOs, five flight training centers and 24-hour FAA air traffic control.


Centennial Airport will host a media night for those news organizations wishing to cover this event. Only media from credentialed news organizations will be permitted. Media will be escorted to the simulated disaster site and positioned for best coverage and imagery. Subject matter experts and staff will be available for comment at that location.

WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Media wanting to do live shots for 10 p.m. broadcasts will be accommodated as needed.

WHERE: Meet on the east side (next to Peoria Street) of the main parking lot of Denver jetCenter, 7625 S. Peoria St., Englewood, CO 80112, no later than 7:30 p.m. to be guaranteed escort/transport to the simulation site.

WHAT TO EXPECT: News trucks with ENG will be escorted across the runway and other controlled areas, to a designated media location prior to the start of the “call out.” Print reporters and photographers arriving in private vehicles must be transported by airport staff in authorized vehicles.

Please come prepared to stay for at least two hours. Due to the location on the runway, back-and-forth vehicle traffic may be prohibited for extended periods of time during the exercise.

Photographers/videographers, be prepared to shoot in extreme low light conditions. Bring appropriate lighting, cables and extra batteries. There will be no power outlets or wi-fi available.

TO RSVP FOR MEDIA NIGHT: Please call 720-272-4992 or complete this short registration form, no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 15.



Deborah Grigsby Smith
Public Information Officer
Centennial Airport

Mobile: 720-272-4992
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Eric Hurst
Public Information Officer
South Metro Fire Rescue

Mobile: 303-803-6162
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Stephanie Sullivan
Director of Media Relations

Mobile: 303-990-3582