Reagan National Airport plans exercise to simulate aircraft accident

Heads up, if you’re around Reagan National Airport on Saturday: Authorities are conducting an emergency exercise that includes simulating an aircraft accident complete with smoke, fire and a large emergency response.

The emergency exercise will start at 8 a.m. and wrap up by noon, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said. Initially, the airports authority said the drill would start at 9 a.m. but updated its information Saturday morning.



The exercise site is closed to the public, and is away from airport terminals. It won’t affect flights.

Some planned parts of the training include:

  • A trainer aircraft emitting smoke and fire
  • Police, Fire and EMS responding with lights and sirens
  • More than 30 emergency vehicles from surrounding areas
  • A limited number of volunteer actors playing victims and family members
  • Mannequins on the ground simulating casualties

Most airport passengers likely won’t notice anything unusual. But officials said announcements will be made to ensure passengers know there is no actual emergency.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said the event is closed to the media because of COVID-19 protocols. The next emergency exercises will be at Dulles in 2024 and back at Reagan in 2025.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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