Photo courtesy of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.

MASCOUTAH – On Tuesday, Sept. 26, a fictional aircraft mishap exercise will be taking place at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah with the goal of testing and improving local emergency response efforts.

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As a result, access to the airport will be restricted that day between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. To avoid any public misconception or concerns, MidAmerica St. Louis Airport wants to ensure that area residents who may witness any emergency activity during the exercise timeframe are aware that the incident is not real.

The fictional scenario will involve an aircraft that has experienced multiple bird strikes and needs to return to the airport. During the landing phase, the aircraft will experience a hard landing on the runway, leading to structural damage and fire, and emergency response teams from several fire and police departments will work together to quickly respond.

This full-scale emergency exercise focuses on decision-making, coordination and integration with other organizations during an aircraft mishap. As a result, multiple organizations and agencies will be participating and working together, with the goal of demonstrating timely and succinct communication of critical information, effective coordination between participating emergency responders and integration of participants into a cohesive incident command structure.

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In addition to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport staff, the agencies, people and organizations that will be participating in this exercise include: Mascoutah Emergency Medical Services, Mascoutah Police Department, MedStar Emergency Medical Services, O’Fallon Fire Department, St. Clair County Sherrif’s Department, St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency and the Scott Air Force Base Fire Department.

“This is a great opportunity for us to coordinate our county efforts and local emergency response teams and ensure we are prepared should an event like this ever occur at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport,” said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

“We want to ensure the public is fully aware that this event will be taking place the afternoon of September 26,” said Darren James, Interim Director of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. “While the incident is not real, the response activities will be practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible.”

Full-scale emergency exercises of this nature are conducted every three years by MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and other airports to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for FAR Part 139 certification. For more information about MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, visit

About MidAmerica St. Louis Airport: MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is located in Mascoutah, Illinois, in the eastern portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Passenger service to multiple destinations is offered by Allegiant. Major multimodal rail and inland port centers are located within 22 miles of the airport, which also enjoys easy access to five interstate highways via I-64. With parallel runways of 8,000 and 10,000 feet, the airport can handle simultaneous take-offs and landings in all conditions, minimizing delays. It has an annual capacity of 200,000 operations. Tenants include Boeing, which has an aircraft manufacturing facility at the airport; North Bay Produce, an international, grower-owned, year-round, fresh produce marketing and distribution cooperative headquartered in Traverse City, Mich. MidAmerica is a Joint Use Airport partnering with Scott AFB, the home to US Transportation Command, a multi service organization, and Air Mobility Command, the USAF’s component command for airlift. MidAmerica and the 375th Air Mobility Wing operate Scott AFB/MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.

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