Hartsfield-Jackson tests its emergency response
‘Big Bird’ simulation creates complex scenario
ATLANTA — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s emergency responders tested their emergency preparedness today in a drill dubbed, Big Bird.
“The safety and security of our customers is the Airport’s top priority and we conduct drills every year to ensure our emergency preparedness,” said Louis Miller, Aviation General Manager. “Big Bird is a large-scale drill that allows the Airport’s emergency responders, staff and other agencies an opportunity to practice and evaluate their responses to an emergency situation.”
Organizers devised a highly complex scenario in order to create as many challenges as possible. Complications include an aircraft fire, injuries and crowd control. About 100 volunteers portrayed survivors and victims, while firefighters, law enforcement and rescue personnel worked at the scene. Airport officials communicated with other agencies and the media.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to conduct emergency-preparedness drills at least once every three years. Several years ago Hartsfield-Jackson officials named the drill “Big Bird” as a casual reference to aircraft.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport, serving more than 92 million passengers annually with nonstop service to 160 U.S. destinations and nearly 70 international destinations in more than 45 countries. The Airport is a frequent recipient of awards of excellence for concessions, operations, architectural engineering and construction - including the 2011 Global and North American Airport Efficiency Excellence Award from the Air Transport Research Society (for more information, go to www.atrsworld.org).
It is undergoing $6 billion-plus in capital improvements, which include a new, energy-efficient rental car center; a new, 12-gate international terminal (for more information, go to
www.atlanta-airport.com/internationalterminal/;and aesthetic and functional upgrades to its concourses, people movers and parking services. For more information, go to www.atlanta-airport.com. Check out the Airport’s YouTube
channel by visiting
http://www.youtube.com/AtlantaHartsfield, and become a fan on Facebook.