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SFO Completes Annual Exercise

Simulated water crash tests emergency response, coordination between agencies

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) completed its annual emergency exercise today, simulating a water crash that tested emergency procedures for communication, incident command, and coordination between multiple agencies. Although federal regulations require U.S. airports to conduct such an exercise every three years, SFO conducts this full-scale emergency exercise annually to ensure the highest level of readiness.

“Safety and security are our highest priorities, and the annual emergency exercise is the cornerstone of our process to continually improve SFO’s emergency response capabilities,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “I appreciate the involvement of so many local, state, and federal agencies to ensure a well-coordinated response to any emergency situation at SFO.”

The exercise demonstrated the effective integration of various agencies, including Airport staff, the San Francisco Fire Department Airport Division, the San Francisco Police Department Airport Bureau, mutual aid units from around the Bay Area, and various state and federal agencies. Over 130 volunteers, complete with make-up, participated as role-play passengers. 

The exercise also demonstrated the capabilities of the SFO Marine Emergency Response Facility (MERF), which opened in 2012, and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), opened in 2000, which serves as the focal point of the Airport’s efforts to restore normal operations following an event.