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Gary/Chicago International Airport conducts Bomb Threat Simulation

Tabletop Exercise Included Regional First Responders to Ensure Readiness Training

On Wednesday, June 26 the Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) held a tabletop exercise reviewing the airport’s emergency preparedness in coordination with airport staff and tenants as well as police, fire and emergency medical technician (EMT) personnel from the City of Gary. The focus of the tabletop exercise was a bomb threat and explosion simulation and was a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“The purpose of the tabletop exercise is to determine the operational readiness of GYY staff, tenants and first responders in their response and recovery time,” said airport Executive Director Duane Hayden. “These simulations allow first responders opportunities to enhance communications, information sharing and overall coordination between airport stakeholders and are vital in preparation for potential real-life scenarios.”

The exercise involved scenario planning, with in-depth discussions and problem solving among a host of airport stakeholders to ensure coordination vital to the emergency response was to occur in the event of an actual emergency.

“Simulations such as these provide opportunities for relevant emergency response stakeholders to review their response procedures, plans and decision-making processes,” added Cliff Lee, the Assistant Safety Manager for AvPorts, which manages the airport. “Exercises such as these allow us to identify any weaknesses and potential gap in our procedures, and as a result, we are able to strengthen our planning and response protocols in the event of a real emergency.”

The FAA requires a full-scale exercise once every three years, with annual emergency preparedness simulations occurring every year. The airport last held a full-scale mock drill in the summer of 2018. The exercise did not deploy actual resources and was not a full-scale mock drill with role-playing victims and emergency crews fully mobilized.

About Gary/Chicago International Airport

Located minutes from the shores of Lake Michigan and just 25 miles from downtown Chicago, Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) is a full service airport and a premiere destination for corporate and weekend flyers
in the Chicago metropolitan region and Northwest Indiana. To learn more, visit the airport’s new website at

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