DFW Airport's fire training center adds mock-up of wide-body jetliner

Posted Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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DFW AIRPORT -- Large, dark, smoke clouds billowing up from the west side of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Wednesday might have looked like an airplane had crashed on a runway.

Instead, it was an Airbus 380 mock-up burning at the airport's newly expanded Fire Training Research Center.

The airport recently spent $29 million to upgrade the facility, adding the A380 fire trainer and a state-of-the-art classroom to run accident simulations for firefighters. The project was partly funded by a $19.2 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Our hope is that with these new facilities the rate of learning will increase," said Jim Crites, executive vice president of operations at DFW Airport. "

The A380 fire trainer is a double-decker mock-up configured with seats and cargo holds to provide accurate representations of what firefighters would face if a fire broke out on a large wide-body aircraft.

The airport will use the center to train its own firefighters and provide training for firefighters from airports across the country. Also Wednesday, the airport announced a partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where students will be able to take courses at the center. The facility first opened in 1995 and has trained more than 15,000 firefighters.

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631

Twitter: @Sky_Talk

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