(credit: Chuck Schechner/KRLD NewsRadio 1080)

(credit: Chuck Schechner/KRLD NewsRadio 1080)

DFW AIRPORT (CBSDFW.COM) – A new multi-million dollar expansion at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport means better training for airport firefighters around the world.

The $29 million renovation brings cutting edge technology to the Fire Training Research Center at DFW Airport. Airport Fire Chief Brian McKinney said the facility hosts more than just North Texas firefighters. “Since 1994 [we’ve had] over 16,000 firefighters, from 29 states, and 24 countries… in a couple months we should have firefighters from Shanghai and Beijing.”

Aircraft rescue firefighting training and research is a specialized field and requires different and additional teaching. “Every certificated airport in the U.S. has to participate in this training,” McKinney said.

Wednesday’s demonstration and training included setting the body of a huge aircraft on fire.  Flames and black smoke shot high into the air, while heat from the blaze could be felt hundreds of feet away.

After the plane was turned into an inferno, a training crew went to work. “Those are the firefighters that will take a headline into the interior of the aircraft.”

The yearlong renovation included adding a touch-screen interactive classroom, a new control center, new burn pits and the only Airbus A380 mockup trainer in the country.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) paid for three fourths of the expansion costs.

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