Full-Scale Emergency Exercise to take place at New Castle - Wilmington Airport

April 12, 2022

Full-Scale Emergency Exercise to take place at New Castle - Wilmington Airport

The full-scale emergency exercise will test emergency plans and procedures, communication framework and coordination abilities of the participants.  The exercise will serve as the airport's official emergency drill that satisfies the Federal Aviation Administration requirement that all certified airports must conduct a full-scale emergency exercise at a minimum once every three years. The drill typically involves a simulated aircraft accident and tests the response procedures and equipment of fire-rescue units and other emergency personnel that would respond to an actual incident.

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced that an emergency disaster exercise will be held at the Wilmington – New Castle Airport (ILG) on Saturday, April 23, 2022 starting at 9:00 a.m.  The emergency exercise, which is expected to continue through early afternoon, will take place near the junction of Penns Way and Dales Way on the north side of the airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required exercise takes place at ILG every three years. 

"Airport personnel, first responders, and law enforcement professionals are trained to handle all types of emergency situations and this drill provides a valuable opportunity to collectively test communication, coordination, and rescue procedures,” said Airport Operations Manager Kelvin Lesene, Jr., referring to the simulated mass casualty incident with more than 30 victims. “Following the drill, the evaluators will offer their assessment and feedback on this training exercise that will help us determine the effectiveness of our response procedures and implement changes or enhancements, if necessary.”  

An emergency preparedness exercise consisting of a coordinated response among Delaware River and Bay Authority, local, state, and federal agencies, as well as fire and emergency medical units from New Castle County.  Designated as Operation Midnight Moon, the exercise will be staged on the north side the airport near the former Boeing Hangar.

Participating agencies 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; American Red Cross; St. Francis Hospital; Wilmington Manor Volunteer Fire Department along with surrounding area departments.

"Official observers" from the DRBA, state and federal agencies along with invited guests will have the opportunity to view the drill. A group of "official evaluators" consisting of emergency responders and aviation professionals will assess the procedures of responding emergency units.   Lesene added, “We attach great importance to emergency preparedness and hope the situation never arises when we have to apply what we learn and practice during these exercises.”

The full-scale emergency exercise will test emergency plans and procedures, communication framework and coordination abilities of the participants.  The exercise will serve as the airport's official emergency drill that satisfies the Federal Aviation Administration requirement that all certified airports must conduct a full-scale emergency exercise at a minimum once every three years. The drill typically involves a simulated aircraft accident and tests the response procedures and equipment of fire-rescue units and other emergency personnel that would respond to an actual incident.

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing.  The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.  For more information, visit www.drba.net.