First Superjumbo At DFW A Permanent Installation For Fire Training Research Center
A new Airbus A380 was unveilled at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport Thursday, though this particular aircraft will never take flight. The Airport has installed a mockup of the A380, the world's largest passenger jet, at its Fire Training Research Center, where it will help DFW train its own aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF) team and others from around the world. The DFW Fire Training Research Center, one of the world's top facilities of its kind, is in the midst of a $29.2 million renovation program due to be completed at the end of 2012.
"We are committed to maintaining the best training firefighters and facilities in the world, and this A380 mockup is a key piece of the infrastructure that we need," said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport. "Our aircraft rescue and firefighting teams are known globally for their excellent training and preparedness, and we expect to share our research and best practices with airports worldwide."
The FAA is funding the bulk of the rehabilitation of DFW's Fire Training Research Center primarily through a federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant of about $19.2 million. The renovation will include a new propane burn pit and control system, the A380 mockup for live fire training, a new capability for training with liquid hydrocarbon, along with a new roadway from Runway 13R/31L to the fire training facility. A new two-story building will provide training classrooms, a mock operations control room and additional office space.
"DFW is once again demonstrating its leadership in aviation safety initiatives with its Fire Training Research Center," said Kelvin L. Solco, the Airports Division Manager for the FAA Southwest Region. "Our partnership with DFW on this and many other safety initiatives goes back many years, and we are confident DFW will continue to provide outstanding fire training programs at this facility."
"I'm delighted that the FAA has made the decision to help fund this facility," said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, (D) Texas, who attended the event. "It means a great deal to us. It means that firefighters from all over can learn the skills right here to help them to save lives."
The on-the-ground training provided at the DFW Fire Training Research Center prepares local, regional, and nationwide emergency response personnel, and has also trained airport workers from as far away as Latin America and Europe. Over 15,000 firefighters from 29 states and 24 countries have trained at the DFW Center since it first opened in 1995.
The mockup of the A380 installed at the DFW Fire Training Research Center is a shortened version of the double-deck, wide-body jetliner. The training jet includes three interior sections, one configured for first/business class, one for economy class and one for a cargo variant of the aircraft. Training will include the ability to light the mockup on fire using propane.