Orlando International Airport Hosts Large-Scale Emergency Training Exercise “Operation Blue Lagoon”

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) recently hosted its biennial Large Scale Emergency Incident Training Exercise. The event, known internally as Operation Blue Lagoon, brought together GOAA departments and various federal agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA). With dozens of committed community partners, the exercise tested the airport’s emergency preparedness in a downed vehicle accident. In the case of this exercise, GOAA’s Airport Rescue Fire Emergency Teams (ARFF) responded to a fictitious plane crash on one of four runways at Orlando International Airport ( MCO).

Federal regulations require airports the size of an MCO to conduct full-scale training exercises every three years. Orlando International exceeds federal standards, however, and conducts extensive training exercises every two years. The training is part of the airport’s ongoing emergency operations training, designed to test operational systems and procedures and provide hands-on training to airport personnel. Community partners included the American Red Cross, the Orlando Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the Orlando Fire Department, the Department of County Fire Department, Orange County Fire Department and District Medical Examiner’s Office.

This year’s participating airline in the emergency simulation, JetBlue, provided personnel, facilities and technical expertise to support the exercise while reviewing its emergency response protocols.

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