If your travels take you to South Bend International Airport next Monday morning, 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 Saint Joseph County Airport Authority Department of Public Safety will be conducting its annual Federal Aviation Administration Fire Training with live burns on Monday, May 8, 2017 from approximately 8:00am 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). All thirteen St. Joseph County Airport Authority Department Safety Officers will work together to put out the live fires.
Public Safety Chief Mike Ornat says, “Being timely, effective and proficient in putting out large flammable liquid fuel fires is something our team takes very seriously.” He adds, “Safety is our number one priority across the board at the airport. Drills like this help our team stay prepared and alert for our traveling public.”
Air travelers arriving on the airfield may or may not see the actual training site depending on their individual location at the air terminal, but the facility is far from the actual traveling public who will be in no threat at any time.
South Bend International Airport’s three air carriers provide nonstop flights to ten cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York City/Newark, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg with connections world-wide. South Bend International’s multi-modal terminal serves over one million air, rail and bus passengers each year. According to the 2012 Economic Impact Report from the Aviation Authority of Indiana, South Bend International’s total annual economic impact on South Bend and surrounding communities was in excess of $1.7 billion.