11/9/2013 9:06:00 PM Airport Staff Conducts Training
Airport employees David Lyons, Tony Chambers and Corbin Reed conduct training at the OSU Fire Service Training Professional Skills Center. The Stillwater Regional Airport employees perform routine emergency training throughout the year.
By Van Mitchell, Journal Staff Writer
The Stillwater Regional Airport handles aircraft large and small every day and employees must be ready for any type of emergency to happen.
As part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 139 Air Carrier designation the airport carries, the facility is required to not only have aircraft rescue and firefighting (AARF) capabilities, but employees must complete an annual live fire exercise to refine their skills and knowledge in fire and rescue tactics.
Recently, airport employees David Lyons, Tony Chambers and Corbin Reed conducted their training at the OSU Fire Service Training - Professional Skills Center.
"The reason we must go through live fire exercises yearly is we have several subject areas that we train in constantly to be able to be proficient in what we do and what we are required to do by the FAA," said Lyons, airport maintenance supervisor.
The Stillwater Regional Airport is a city owned and operated facility located at 2020-1 W. Airport Road. As the fifth-busiest airport in the state, the airport handles operations from general aviation, military, and air medical services. The airport is equipped with an air traffic control tower, terminal building and pilot services provided by Hangar 1 Flight Center of Stillwater, OSU Flight Center and Stillwater Flight Center.
Lyons said personnel must be knowledgeable in 13 different areas for recurrent training such as emergency communications, airport and aircraft familiarization, different fire apparatus equipment, emergency aircraft evacuations and HAZ-MAT.
"We get everything from 757s to armed military helicopters coming in here," Lyons said. "We run quite the gamut of aircraft."
Lyons said the airport has one Osh Kosh T-1500 tanker fire truck to handle fire or chemical emergencies at the airport. The truck holds 1,500 gallons of water, 200 gallons of foam and 450 pounds of dry chemicals.
Lyons said if a fire or chemical spill became too large for the truck Stillwater Fire Station No.3 serves as backup emergency help.
"It (truck) is adequate for aircraft up to 126 feet in length," Lyons said. "Once we get over that Station No. 3 which is right down the street from us is our backup engine company."
Lyons said the training not only benefits the airport in being prepared, but through a relationship with the Oklahoma State University Fire Protection Program, the airport demonstrates their training with fire protection and environmental students.
He said they do training with OSU Fire Protection several times a year.
"We use ARFF personnel to demonstrate types of fire behavior to fire protection students at OSU and we also have environmental students study the effective of spill control," Lyons said "It's a great opportunity for students at the university to observe these areas."
Airport and city officials are currently negotiating the possibility of adding commercial air service to SRA in the near future.
Lyons said adding commercial air service wouldn't change the type of training the airport does.
"We are under the same requirements as Will Rogers in Oklahoma City or Tulsa airports," Lyons said. "As far as training goes there would be no changes for us. We train to the same standards of those airports."