FORT LAUDERDALE – Drivers going past Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport late Thursday night or early Friday morning may notice a large law enforcement presence and fire rescue vehicles.
Don’t be alarmed – IT IS JUST A DRILL.
Dubbed “Operation Nightingale,” the drill is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m inside Terminal 1 and the Rental Car Center.
During the exercise, there will be live “simunition” gunfire as law enforcement personnel engage with multiple assailants (actors). Simunition firearms are realistic, non-lethal firearms used for training purposes.
A cordoned-off area of the concourse will be filled with volunteers taking part in a range of roles at designated gates, passenger-waiting areas, and outside of airport shops and restaurants. The idea is to create as realistic a scenario as possible.
The drill is scheduled to run through 3 a.m. Friday.
The goal of this drill is to train and familiarize airport employees with the airport’s emergency and readiness procedures in partnership with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement and Fire Rescue Divisions. Other agencies taking part in the drill include Broward County Emergency Management, the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, and JetBlue Airways.
More than 500 volunteers and airport employees will be participating in the exercise. Representatives from area hospitals and local municipalities will also take part to test their communications, emergency response, and coordination capabilities.