Today, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) will be conducting a full-scale emergency training exercise designed to measure the level of preparedness of first responders.

Under the guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration, Mercer County is required to organize a mock emergency scenario every three years. The drill allows the agencies that will respond to a true emergency to train together in a single venue.

The TTN Airport Emergency Plan involves the cooperation of agencies such as the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, the FBI, the New Jersey Division of Aeronautics, the County Office of Emergency Management and County Emergency Communications.

With current COVID-19 health regulations, TTN has had to reinvent this years exercise with a majority of its drills to be performed virtually. The elements of a Forward Command Post, Emergency Operations Center and and Joint Information Center will be carried out online.

During the drill, the first responders will be given a realistic scenario of an aircraft overshooting a runway, with injuries reported. It is up to the first responders to properly manage the situation as if this was a true crisis.

In past years, the event would take place outside in a large field. Community members would come to bare-witness to the important exercise. However, with this year’s virtual transition, that is no longer the case.

Airport staff and other participants in the exercise will evaluate the response and use the information gained to improve or revise, if necessary, the Airport Emergency Plan and emergency procedures.