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SFO Completes Annual Emergency Exercise

Simulated terror attack tests emergency response, coordination between agencies

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) completed its annual emergency exercise today, simulating a terrorist attack involving chemical weapons on board an aircraft to test emergency procedures for communication, incident command, and coordination between multiple agencies. Although federal regulations require U.S. airports to conduct such a drill every three years, SFO conducts this full-scale emergency drill annually to ensure the highest level of readiness.

“We are seeking continuous improvement in our emergency response capabilities, and our annual full-scale emergency exercise is the most important element of that ongoing training cycle,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “I appreciate the participation of so many local, state, and federal agencies to help us to prepare for a coordinated response to any emergency incident at SFO.”

The exercise involved the use of the Airport’s Boeing 767-300 widebody training aircraft, with volunteers role-playing as passengers. The exercise also demonstrated the capabilities of the SFO Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which serves as the focal point of the Airport’s efforts to restore normal operations following an event. The facility has been used extensively since its opening in 2000.

The following agencies participated in the exercise:

  • American Medical Response
  • American Red Cross – San Mateo
  • California Department of Public Health
  • California National Guard – 95th Civil Support Team
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Northern California Regional Intelligence Center
  • Peninsula Medical Center
  • Qantas Airways
  • San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • San Francisco District Attorney – Victim Services Office
  • San Francisco Fire Department
  • San Francisco Police Department
  • San Mateo County Coroner
  • San Mateo County District Attorney – Victim Services Division
  • San Mateo County Fire
  • San Mateo County Health Department
  • San Mateo County Sheriff
  • San Mateo County Sheriff – Office of Emergency Services
  • SFO Airline Emergency Working Group
  • Signature Flight Support
  • St. Mary's Medical Center – SFO Medical Clinic
  • Transportation Security Administration
  • US Customs & Border Protection
  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital


For more information, please visit www.flysfo.com/about-sfo/safety-security.