Smoke and ambulances at KCI were part of training drill for the airport

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When fire trucks and ambulances raced to the tarmac at Kansas City International Airport Wednesday morning, it was for a full-scale disaster training exercise, not a real emergency. The scenario was two planes collided on a runway. 

About 100 volunteers wore makeup to make their fake injuries appear more realistic for first responders participating in the training. 

The airport said drills like this allow it to test its plans, solidify relationships with other agencies, and ultimately protect airport passengers should a legitimate disaster ever take place. 

"We don’t know what’s going to happen on a passenger plane. You don’t know what kind of needs those passengers have," Airport Operations Manager Bob Johnson said, highlighting the need for the drill.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to do the drill once every three years. Airports such as KCI must run through tabletop versions of their emergency response plans once during years when they don't do the full-scale version. 

"It's reassuring, but it’s one of those things you hope you never need," admitted Don Murray, who participated in the drill as a pretend passenger.  

The airport also practiced how to set up family assistance areas for people who might have a loved one in an accident. 

The drill took place from approximately 9 a.m. to noon.

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