mission-statement-inside-heroA full-scale disaster exercise of the Lehigh Valley International Airport Emergency Plan will take place Saturday, April 12, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. 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.

The exercise will test the airport’s emergency response while providing hands-on training to airport personnel, local jurisdictions and other emergency personnel. During the exercise, emergency personnel will respond as in a real emergency, including the use of sirens, firefighting and rescue equipment.

This exercise is especially realistic due to the assistance of over 150 participating personnel from more than 32 different agencies. A partial list of participating agencies includes:

  • American Red Cross
  • Eastern PA EMS Council
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Lehigh County Coroner
  • Lehigh County Emergency Management Agency
  • Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA)
  • Northampton County Coroner
  • Northampton County Emergency Management Services
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • and many mutual aid units from area Fire, Police and EMS departments

The exercise will include the following elements to add realism to the simulated emergency:

  • More than 25 responding emergency vehicles from 20 area mutual aid agencies
  • Nearly 70 volunteer role players, moulaged to simulate injuries sustained in the incident
  • An aircraft from which ‘victims’ will be rescued
  • A fire that will be ignited for training purposes

The exercise will be held in the secure airfield operations area and will not affect normal airport operations or flights, however it will involve a certain amount of smoke. As a result, vehicle drivers traveling on Airport Road between Race Street and City Line Road may see smoke rising from the airfield. In addition, there will be multiple emergency vehicles in and around the Airport as part of the exercise.

This full-scale emergency preparedness exercise, which is the culmination of months of planning and coordination across multiple jurisdictions and disciplines, is mandated by the FAA to ensure airports are prepared for real-life aircraft emergencies. Airports are required by the FAA to conduct these exercises every 3 years.

This is only an exercise. It is not open to the public.