Provided by Tompkins Regional Airport.

ITHACA, N.Y. — To be prepared in case of crisis, the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport and emergency officials will take part in a disaster drill set up as if a plane had crashed at the airport.

The full-scale drill is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Don’t be alarmed —during the event, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, local residents and commuters on Route 13 may see smoke, fire and emergency crews from several departments at the airport. The flames and smoke will all be in a well-controlled environment.

Beth Harrington, assistant director of the department of emergency response, said the drill will help show what areas may need improvement and tweaking.

“We hope that we never have a big disaster or an airplane crash or anything like that, but part of being able to take care of it in case it happens is this kind of training and exercising,” Harrington said.

The training scenario will involve 53 victim actors, who will be made up to look like authentic victims.

The drill will not take away from day-to-day operations in case there are any real emergencies in the county. Part of the drill is to make sure that operations run smoothly at the simulated scene and elsewhere.

The airport will remain open during the drill, though it has been planned to take place when there are no major airlines coming in.

The disaster drill begins at 9 a.m. at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.

Featured image provided by Tompkins Regional Airport.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.