Drill at Watertown Regional Airport will test critical readiness

April 1, 2024

WATERTOWN, SD— To ensure the highest level of preparedness and coordination in the face of potential emergencies, the Watertown Regional Airport will conduct a full-scale airport incident drill  this Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

This exercise, mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is an integral part of maintaining certification under federal regulations.

The drill will simulate a bomb threat escalating into a critical scenario, allowing various agencies to collaborate and coordinate response efforts. Participants will include law enforcement, fire and rescue teams, airport personnel, airline staff, TSA employees, and actors from Lake Area Tech.

The exercise, conducted every three years, aims to test the Airport Emergency Plan and evaluate the readiness of emergency responders. It provides an opportunity to identify potential procedural gaps and refine protocols to enhance the safety and security of passengers, staff, and the community.

“With multiple agencies involved, this drill serves as a comprehensive test of our preparedness and coordination,” added Rob Cyrus, Airport Manager. “It allows us to evaluate our response capabilities and make necessary adjustments to ensure the highest level of public safety.”

The Watertown Regional Airport remains committed to prioritizing the safety and security of passengers and personnel. Training exercises of this nature help equip our teams with the skills and experience needed to handle dynamic situations effectively.

The community should know that this drill is for training and is not a real emergency. While increased activity and emergency personnel will be at the airport during the drill, there is no cause for alarm.