Sunday, November 26, 2017

Reading Regional Airport (KRDG) Authority approves more frequent drills

The Reading Regional Airport Authority overwhelmingly approved holding full-scale airport emergency drills every 18 months instead of every three years, as was previously done.

Terry P. Sroka, airport manager, said the exercise on a recent Saturday was a success with 30-plus volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol playing critically injured and even deceased airplane passengers.

"While the FAA requires many airports to hold drills every three years, we're actually not required to do them at all," Sroka said.

"But with new faces among the responders, new equipment and changing procedures, staying at peak readiness takes time and training," board Vice Chairman Randall W. Swan said.

Former military jet pilot Tom Kopel and member Paul J. Prutzman said conducting a live full-scale aircraft disaster exercise every 18 months also will test on-scene emergency plans and coordination during different seasons.

Sroka thanked "all 20 partners for recently striving to provide a safe environment for the traveling public."

In other business Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to dedicate a new pilot's lounge at the terminal in honor of the late Paul Doelp, who worked for Reading Aviation Service and was instrumental to the success of the Reading Air Show for many years.

Sroka said Doelp worked here since 1972, was marketing director for the airport authority and passed away in 2015.

Also, Sroka told the board that the Reading Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association and others have shown a lot of interest in holding the annual Christmas in the Air event again in 2018. It was discontinued during renovations to the terminal.

"Several years ago, the whole terminal turned into Santa's Workshop for the day, and it was so packed we had 1,000 people and kids here," Sroka said.

"And through the national Young Eagles Program formerly headed by actor/pilot Harrison Ford, more than 300 children between the ages of 8 and 17 had their first flying experience here."

There will be a planning session in January.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.readingeagle.com

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