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Las Vegas airport to conduct drills for aviation emergencies

Updated September 13, 2018 - 6:28 am

If smoke, sirens and emergency vehicles are spotted at the McCarran International Airport on Thursday morning, it will probably be because of the airport’s triennial emergency drill.

The Clark County Department of Aviation will conduct its Triennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise from about 10 a.m. to noon. Large airports are required to conduct the drill, designed to resemble an aviation disaster, every three years by the Federal Aviation Administration, said airport spokeswoman Christine Crews.

“It’s pretty involved and pretty large-scaled,” Crews said.

The emergency exercise will not affect flights at the airport and will be held near an area where planes park. The closest roads to the drill will be Eastern Avenue and Russell Road, Crews said.

The drill is meant to simulate an emergency involving a Boeing 737 airplane. Local fire, police and emergency responders will participate in the drill. White smoke and helicopters will also be seen during the exercise, she said.

More than 100 U.S. Air Force volunteers will act as victims during the drill, complete with fake injuries from an imaginary plane crash, Crews said.

The last time the airport held the emergency drill was in 2012. The FAA didn’t require the drill in 2015 and said the airport met the exercise’s requirements after officials responded to a British Airways plane catching fire after an aborted takeoff, Crews said.

She said Thursday’s drill is important practice for airport officials and first responders.

“We always want to be prepared as possible for a variety of scenarios,” Crews said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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