Massive Emergency Drill to Test Water Rescue Efforts in Boston Harbor
May 8 Training Session will Impact Logan Water Shuttle, Cell Phone Lot and Harborwalk
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Port Authority, the United States Coast Guard, the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will be among the governmental agencies participating in "Operation Ready 2010" a full-scale exercise that simulates a jumbo jet crashing into Boston Harbor. The training program will focus on the roles of first responders and emergency management protocols in the first two hours after the simulated incident and will call on the use of many private vessels in the harbor to assist in the rescue.
Massport, which owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, holds full scale exercises at least once every three years as part of its emergency management program and more than 500 participants will be involved in the full scale exercise, which is scheduled to begin on the morning of Saturday May 8, and conclude that afternoon. The last full scale exercise occurred Oct. 27, 2007 and simulated the collision of two passenger jets on the airfield.
"Our first priority is the safety and security of the traveling public," said Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., CEO & Executive Director of Massport. "This drill emphasizes the importance of teamwork with a single objective in mind: to save lives. Water rescue is something we must be prepared for."
Operation Ready 2010 will use a barge and floating docks to simulate the partially submerged Boeing 747 with more than 300 people on board. Approximately 100 cadets from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will play the roles of surviving passengers and will be positioned on the barge and docks to be rescued by a flotilla of government and private vessels.
Because the water shuttle dock at Boston Logan International Airport will be used in the drill, water shuttle service will arrive and depart from the public safety pier near the Logan Office Center from the hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Likewise, the popular Logan Cell Phone Waiting Lot will be closed during the same time period and motorists are requested to park in the limousine pool on Harborside Drive, about two-tenths of a mile north of the Cell Phone Lot. The Harborwalk from the Logan Office Center south to the Hyatt Harborside Hotel will also be closed during the drill.
Boston Logan, 15 minutes from Routes 128/90 and five minutes from downtown Boston, serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 70 domestic and 31 international destinations and in 2009 handled 26.1 million passengers. Boston Logan is the Air Line Pilot Association’s Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates more than $7 billion in economic impact each year.
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The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) operates Boston Logan International Airport, the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion every year and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England.