BR Metro Airport plans emergency drill Thursday

Anyone hearing explosions or seeing smoke coming from the Baton Rouge Metro Airport on Thursday morning need not worry because airport personnel will conduct an Airport Disaster Drill beginning at 8 a.m.

That is, if the weather holds up.

Airport Police Chief Anthony Williams said the airport is required by the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Homeland Security to periodically conduct disaster drills. The drill includes responding to a mock bomb found on a plane or an active shooter scenario.

Williams said the drill may be scaled back if the weather is bad.

Airport spokesman Jim Caldwell said the drill is held to test the response times of emergency personnel in the event of an actual emergency. It also tests procedures in place to deal with such an emergency.

Williams said police, fire and medical first responders from Baton Rouge, Baker, Zachary and federal agencies will participate, as will local hospitals who will receive buses full of “victims” with various injuries so they can test their policies and procedures.

The drill is scheduled from 8 a.m. to about noon. If the weather is bad, the exercise will be scaled back to having a planning scenario inside featuring various agencies, although “victims” still will be sent to area hospitals.