DENVER (CBS4) – Officials at Denver International Airport are keeping a close eye on the events out of San Francisco after the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. DIA has dealt with its own crash landing that was not nearly as devastating, but certainly enlightening.

CBS4’s Jodi Brooks got to take a rare look inside the Operations and Communications Center and the Emergency Operations Center at DIA, where there is an incident command structure in place.

“Our general protocol is consistent with what you’d see in airports around the country,” said Ken Greene, Deputy Manager for Airport Operations.

But it’s disasters like the one in San Francisco that DIA officials expect to study.

“We as an airport, we will be in contact with them in the future, but we also know what it feels like and what they’re experiencing,” said Steve Lee, Director Of Operations Support.

On Dec. 20, 2008, Continental Flight 1404 veered off the runway and burst into flames shortly after takeoff. It was the worst crash since DIA opened in 1995. But despite the chilling images, all 110 passengers survived.

“On the Continental event that we had in 2008, there were a lot of questions. We did a lot of presentations around the country,” said Dan Sprinkle, Director of Airside Operations.

The Federal Aviation Administration provides a basic foundation of safety through its regulations. Airports then build safety measures from there.

“We network, we talk, we share, we attend conferences,” Greene said.

Hundreds of first responders work at DIA and train continuously. They now are watching closely on the developments in San Francisco.

“We definitely have a keen interest,” said Training Chief Randy Stewart with the DIA Denver Fire Department.

An image of Continental Flight 1404  before it was hauled away from the runway area (credit: Copter4)

An image of Continental Flight 1404 before it was hauled away from the runway area (credit: Copter4)

Insights are not expected soon.

“If there’s anything to learn from it, we’ll find out in months and maybe even a year or more to come,” Lee said.

Airport officials said each airport has its own internal plans. Those fine details are one thing DIA officials are anxious to examine.


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