Airport emergency response plan to be drafted

The drafting of an emergency response plan for Hannibal Regional Airport will begin this spring.
By Danny Henley, Courier-Post Reporter
Posted: Apr. 12, 2019 9:00 am

The drafting of an emergency response plan for Hannibal Regional Airport will begin this spring.

"We need to have some kind of plan, and I don't know that we have one from the city's side yet, if there was a crash," said Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department during Thursday morning's Hannibal Airport Advisory Board meeting.

Dorian envisions participants in the roundtable discussion will include the Hannibal police chief and fire chief, the Marion County sheriff and coroner, EMS personnel and a representative of the airport staff.

"We are going to organize something fairly large and put a good plan together," Dorian said, estimating it might take "a couple of months" to organize the gathering.

This will not be the first time an attempt has been made to put such a plan together.

"We had started that process several years ago," said Robin Carroll, the airport's fixed base operator. "I know we had contacted the fire chief and were setting up something with them, but it didn't work with their plans."

Carroll and George Walley, a member of the airport advisory board, endorsed developing an emergency plan.

A blueprint for Hannibal's plan could very well be the one in use at Kirksville.

"I guess they have got a really good plan written up," Dorian said.

Walley said because of the presence of explosive batteries and other hazardous items aboard aircraft firefighters responding to a plane crash need to know "where not to cut into a plane."

Walley also supports providing a list of items that are contained in airport hangars.

"They need to know what plane type is in every hangar and how much fuel there is," he said. "Right now, if there were a fire out here or if a plane crashed into one of the hangars, (firefighters) don't know what is behind those closed doors."

While providing a list of hangars contents is not required by federal or state regulations, Walley said having it available is also "common sense."

While there have been no major incidents, Hannibal Regional Airport has had its share of close calls in recent years. In October 2013, a pilot attempting to land reported nearly hitting one of nine deer on the runway. In November 2011, sparks from a piece of equipment being used to dismantle a plane inside a hangar ignited a small amount of fuel that had leaked out of the single engine aircraft. In September 2011, Hannibal police and fire raced to the airport arriving just minutes before small plane glided in safely after its engine stopped.

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