WACO, Texas – It was a busy Thursday morning at Waco Regional Airport, as staff and response crews took part in a emergency response training exercise.
Teams including the police, fire departments, and other ground staff were broken up into groups and given the fictitious scenario of birds striking a plane as it lifted off. There, they were in charge of communicating with each other of how many “deaths,” “injuries,” and the time events were unfolding.
“It’s also a great practice for us to know how our emergency responders will respond in the event a tragedy happens on our airport,” said City of Waco Spokesperson Larry Holze.
The bird strike incident is quite common among planes. According to the latest data from the FAA, bird strikes have increased from 1,800 per year in 1990 to 16,000 in 2018.
Based on the FAA’s rules, airports must conduct at least one training exercise every two or three years. One common issue each time is communication.
“Somebody doesn’t know the responsibility of who, and somebody is already doing something that may be done,” said Holze.
First responders and airport staff plans to discuss the training regarding strengths and weaknesses.