If you’re dropping someone off next Monday morning at South Bend International Airport or headed off on a business trip, vacation or other travels yourself, don’t panic if you happen to see something that looks a lot like a plane crash on the airfield. It’s just a test.
The St. Joseph County Airport Authority (SJCAA) Department of Public Safety will be conducting its annual Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fire training with live burns on the morning of Monday, June 8th, 2020 from approximately 8:00 am until noon at the live fire training facility on the northwest corner of the airfield at South Bend International Airport (SBN).
The fire safety training is mandated by the FAA under FAR Part 139 for any entity specializing in Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF). Thirteen members make up the SJCC safety department who will work together to put out the live fires.
SJCAA Department of Public Safety Chief Mike Ornat says, “The FAA fire training with live burns is conducted annually to ensure our team is timely, effective and proficient in putting out large flammable liquid fuel fires,” and adds, “Safety is held to the highest standard across all sectors at the airport. Training procedures like this help our team stay equipped and alert for our traveling public.”
South Bend International Airport’s four air carriers provide nonstop flights to thirteen cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York City/Newark, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Sarasota/Bradenton, and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg with connections world-wide. South Bend International’s multi-modal terminal serves over one million air and rail passengers each year. According to the 2012 Economic Impact Report from the state aviation association, Aviation Indiana, South Bend International’s total annual economic impact on South Bend and surrounding communities was more than $1.7 billion.