Delaware River and Bay Authority officials announced that an emergency disaster exercise will be held at the Wilmington — New Castle Airport beginning at 9 a.m. April 13.

Designated as Operation Blue Skywalker, the emergency exercise is expected to continue through early afternoon and will take place near the junction of Penns Way and Dales Way near the former Boeing Hangar on the north side of the airport.

“This emergency exercise provides a valuable opportunity for airport personnel, first responders, and law enforcement professionals to collectively test rescue procedures, communication and coordination,” said Senior Airports Manager Benjamin Clendaniel, referring to the FAA required exercise that must take place every three years. “Evaluators will then offer their assessment and feedback on what worked well; identify potential challenges; and what, if any, improvements could be made.”

Federal, state and local agencies participating in this coordinated preparedness exercise include the Federal Aviation Administration; Delaware Emergency Management Agency; Delaware Department of Forensic Sciences; Delaware Air National Guard Fire Department; New Castle County Emergency Medical Services; New Castle County Office of Emergency Management; St. Francis Hospital; and Wilmington Manor Volunteer Fire Department along with surrounding area departments.

Aviation professionals and first responders will assess the procedures and interactions of responding personnel. The exercise will serve as the airport's official emergency drill that satisfies the FAA requirement that all certified airports conduct a full-scale emergency exercise at least every three years. The exercise typically involves a simulated aircraft accident to test the response procedures and equipment of fire-rescue units and other emergency personnel who would be responding to an actual incident.

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