Replacement emergency siren to be tested at University Park Airport in mid July

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Authorities at the University Park Airport will finalize installation and begin testing of a replacement emergency siren system near mid July. The siren system, which is tested at 8 a.m. daily, is designed to alert on-site Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighters (ARFF) in the event of an aircraft emergency at the airport. Residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the airport may notice a change in the siren’s tone or volume as testing begins.

Ed Foster, the associate director of airport operations at the University Park Airport, said the new system will be more powerful, with an omnidirectional broadcast range of up to 4,000 feet.

“We need to be sure that our ARFF personnel can hear emergency broadcasts whenever they might happen, no matter where they are at the airport,” Foster said. “This new system will do a better job than the one we currently have in place. Activation of the siren also will send an alert to ARFF personnel pagers, adding another level of alert capability.”

Once the new system is ready for use, testing will begin. As part of the testing process, personnel will stand at the far corners of the airport and assist with the calibration of the siren, to ensure that it is audible but not overpowering.

In the event of an emergency, the siren system would be used to alert on-site ARFF personnel as a first step in a process that also would involve calls for assistance to various local emergency response agencies via Centre County 911.

Foster said the project to replace the current siren system began about one year ago and was funded primarily by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Last Updated July 08, 2013