The SFO is completing a full-scale crash test of the aircraft

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    San Francisco International Airport

    IATA/ICAO code:

    United States

    General Director:
    Ivar C. Satero

    Number of passengers:
    16,427,801 (2020)

    10L/28R – 3,618 m (11,870 ft) |10R/28L – 3,469 m (11,381 ft) |1R/19L – 2,637 m (8,650 ft) |1L/19R – 2,332 m (7,650 ft)

    Harvey Milk Terminal 1 | Terminal 2 | Terminal 3 | International terminal

September 28 of this year San Francisco International Airport (SFO) completed a full-scale emergency situation a review exercise airportpreparedness for a potential unusual event. Let’s take a closer look at what the exercise test consisted of.

San Francisco conducts emergency tests

Managing an airport means preparing for both routine and unexpected operations security– regarding scripts. Therefore, all airports should regularly conduct emergency drills to test the speed of response of all departments and entities involved in a potential emergency.


Although federal regulations require emergency testing every three years, San Francisco International (SFO) conducts annual training to effectively respond to potential accidents. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

San Francisco International is one of the busiest hubs in the US; according to Official Airline Guise (OAG), SFO will provide 50,923,228 seats in 2022. Therefore, it must be ready to respond effectively to any possible accident. On September 28, a full-scale emergency exercise was completed at the airport. It consists in modeling the aircraft an accident to test emergency procedures for communication, incident management and multi-agency coordination.

Emergency response is a team effort

On this occasion, Ivar K. Satero, director of San Francisco International, highlighted how the hub has undergone many changes over the past few years; however, safety and emergency preparedness always remain the top priority. Preparing for such a dramatic scenario involves multi-agency coordination and cooperation; so he said he was grateful for the participation of so many members of the SFO community in the emergency exercise.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Mobile Command Post play a critical role in the effective response to potential accidents at the airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is particularly relevant in the event of an airport accident; The EOC plays a critical role in restoring normal operations after an unusual event such as an accident. Ivar Satero also noted the importance of the mobile command post, a purpose-built vehicle that aims to provide incident commanders with full situational information, including coordinated communications and access to video surveillance, regardless of their location. Interestingly, while federal regulations require airports to conduct such tests every three years, San Francisco International autonomously conducts these full-scale emergency drills annually.

A plane crash can happen when you least expect it

Although flying is one of the safest modes of transportation nowadays, it is true that both crew and ground staff need to be constantly trained to deal with a potential accident, the chances of which, although very limited, can never be completely eliminated.

At San Francisco International, this was the case when a seven-year-old Asiana Airlines Boeing B777-200ER crashed on final approach, as a result of which three people died and 49 people were seriously injured. Four months after the accident, San Francisco International Airport officials released the results of a self-assessment of the Asiana Flight 214 disaster response and recovery. The assessment process, supported by an independent consulting firm, recognized the successful coordination of the various parties involved in the response and recovery.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed on July 6, 2013 at SFO, killing three people. Photo: Getty Images

Areas for improvement identified in the report included the need to adopt standard emergency medical services (EMS) procedures between San Francisco and San Mateo counties and the integration of additional medical evacuation resources. Customer service initiatives were also mentioned as relevant items to include in current medical procedures, such as 24-hour airport restaurants and assistance to passengers with hotel rates.

Do you think all airports should have annual crash tests? Let us know in the comments below!

https://simpleflying.com/sfo-aircraft-accident-emergency-test/ The SFO is completing a full-scale crash test of the aircraft

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