CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Yeager Airport and emergency officials will now begin reviewing what occurred during an overnight drill.
The airport along with more than 100 participants representing 20 agencies held an active shooter drill late Sunday night into early Monday morning.
“We are conducting this exercise so we are prepared in case an event does take place, we are able to respond accordingly,” Yeager Airport Police Chief, Eric Johnson said.
“It’s all for the safety of the passengers and the employees and the tenants of Yeager Airport.”
Johnson told MetroNews that all someone has to do is turn on the news to realize why a drill of this nature is important.
“You look at issues with Homeland Security and the aviation industry,” he said. “It’s an easy target because it draws a lot of attention and it can affect a lot of people in one incident. Any transportation hub for that matter.”
Johnson, who has been at his position with the airport for 22 months, said a drill of this nature has a lot of preparation to it.
There were multiple safety and security meetings held to prepare for the drill itself with federal and local law enforcement agencies, medical emergency services and industry partners.
The drill began as an active shooter situation inside the airport and later turned into a hostage situation on an aircraft.
Airport officials worked with Delta officials to use an aircraft to make the drill “as real as possible,” Johnson said.
The drill started around midnight because there is no activity at the airport during that time.
Johnson said drill officials wanted to make sure that all flying passengers were out of the airport, even putting officers at the bottom of hill entrance at the airport to let anyone know the drill was going on.
“The last thing you want to have happened is an unknowing person,” Johnson said. “Whether a civilian, police or otherwise come into an environment where weapons are drawn and it may appear you have an actual event going on when in fact its an exercise.”