09:18 AM

DFW International Airport Unveils Newly Renovated and World Leading Fire Training Research Center

Internationally renowned facility offers world-class fire training, college coursework with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and research capabilities for global aviation community

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport today officially dedicated its newly updated Fire Training Research Center (FTRC), establishing one of the world’s top facilities for aircraft rescue firefighting training and research. The center re-opened after a yearlong $29 million dollar expansion and reinvestment project which has enhanced the facility’s real world training and high value research capabilities by adding new interactive curriculum, classroom space, a new control center, new burn pits and the only Airbus A380 mockup trainer in the United States.

“The DFW Fire Training and Research Center now houses some of the finest fire training facilities in the world, not only providing high value facilities for training firefighters but also establishing DFW’s instructors as global leaders in the field of aircraft rescue firefighting,” said Jeff Fegan, DFW Airport’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re proud to be able to offer leading edge training to first responders and aviation partners from around the world, while keeping our own firefighters at the highest levels of readiness with this impressive facility.”

DFW Airport also announced a partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), the world’s leading aviation and aerospace university, to develop a one-of-a-kind Aviation Fire Science program. The collaboration will provide Embry-Riddle students a unique educational opportunity combining superior academic coursework and hands-on firefighting.

“This partnership demonstrates the collective commitment by DFW’s Fire Training Research Center and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus to support the educational needs of the firefighting and emergency services community,” said Dr. Ron Wakeham, the Fire Science Program Chair for Embry-Riddle. “We are excited to support this much needed initiative to help develop the best trained and educated firefighters possible.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided $19.2 million dollars in Airport Improvement Program grant funds for the FTRC renovation. DFW is partnering not only with the FAA but also with aviation organizations worldwide such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and aircraft manufacturers to conduct research and share best practices.

“The DFW Fire Training Research Center is another example of the outstanding value that DFW brings to the world’s aviation community,” said Teri Bruner, FAA Southwest Region Administrator. “DFW Airport has long partnered with the FAA on aviation safety initiatives, and this facility extends that record of leadership in safety research.”

Since it opened in 1995, the FTRC has trained more than 15,000 students from 24 countries and 29 U.S. states in a variety of course offerings such as aircraft and structural fire suppression, incident management, aircraft rescue and firefighting, emergency vehicle operations and vehicle mass applications.

“Hands-on experience is the best teacher, so the DFW team has developed a curriculum filled with value-added training, complete with real-world demonstrations, virtual simulations of other airports, and a wide range of tactics and strategies to tackle most any airport emergency,” said Jim Crites, executive vice president of operations for DFW Airport. “Our team is also networking with experts in all aspects of aviation to share lessons learned worldwide and in real time with regulators, aircraft designers, firefighting organizations, air carriers and equipment manufacturers.”

“For fire chiefs, the DFW Fire Training Research Center represents an excellent value, because it provides more and varied on-site training, as well as virtual, online or off-site training options that allow for better use of limited funds in a tight economy,” said Brian McKinney, DFW Airport’s Fire Chief. “The development of online curriculum and the incorporation of real-time lessons and information exchange with industry experts worldwide make this an unmatched value for aviation based fire training.”

The Center now features a new Airbus A380 mockup to teach students how to handle modern ultra-large fuselage aircraft. Unique among aircraft mockups worldwide, DFW’s A380 trainer contains accurate representations of the interior of both a multi-class passenger aircraft and a cargo freighter, as well as key components of the cockpit, and it is situated on a fuel spill burn area so students can experience interior and exterior emergency scenarios.

Other new features in the Fire Training Research Center include:
• A liquid hydrocarbon burn pit that uses environmentally compliant fuels to train firefighters on the behavior characteristics of a jet fuel spill and fire (Liquid hydrocarbons burn 98% cleaner than Jet A or Jet B fuels)
• A two-story training command center for full observation and control of training exercises
• A large state-of-the-art classroom facility with 3D simulation technology providing the ability to visually and virtually train for any airport in the world
• A new multi-purpose road connecting the FTRC to DFW Airport runways and taxiways, to allow active aircraft onto the facility for training and research
• A new galley area to allow for onsite meals, increasing the efficiency and value proposition of the center

The FTRC staff also offers customized courses to fit the best practices of the requesting organization, as well as multi-lingual courses for international students.

The Center continues to utilize several decommissioned aircraft for training, as well as training facilities for the study of flashover fire conditions and firefighting inside an aircraft fuselage, as well as a wide range of structural and situational fire training.

More photos of the Fire Training Research Center are available at the DFW Airport Flickr photostream page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dfwairport.

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and www.facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.