Airport Advisory Board pleased with emergency protocol

Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport has seen two emergency landings within five months, and the board that advises Airport Operations is satisfied with the way airport personnel handled those situations.

On March 27, what personnel thought was a medical emergency was soon found to be a JetBlue captain whose actions were so bizarre he was reprimanded by his passengers. On October 18 of last year, the outbursts of an unruly passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight prompted a landing in Amarillo, as well.

According to Director of Aviation Pat Rhodes, airport personnel go through training and learn the protocol to follow when situations like those arise. And at the Airport Advisory Board meeting Monday, members agreed last month's situation with Captain Clayton Osbon was handled quickly and professionally.

"We pretty much followed protocols that are well-established both for the airport and the City in responding to anything that might be deemed an emergency," he stated. "And at the end of the day, it all worked out good."

As of now, Rhodes said, no new training or protocol is necessary.

"It reinforces the training we've been doing and reinforces the importance of that training. And certainly every time you experience something like that, you have a little better understanding of what the procedures are and you're a little better at responding to it. But we've not made any procedural changes per se."

Many people, especially those who frequent the skies, are glad to hear the personnel at Rick Husband Int'l are doing their jobs. If another emergency should arise, they just might feel more confident it will be taken care of.

Pronews 7 contacted U.S. Marshals to get an update on Osbon, who is currently booked in Randall County. He will be removed from the district for more evaluation and then returned for court hearings. After trial, he will be moved again to a bigger facility.