Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport hosted aircraft firefighting exercises for firefighters from around the world on Monday.
The firefighters are in town for an Aircraft Rescue Firefighting conference, held in Atlanta this year for the first time. About 40 firefighters from around the United States and from other countries practiced putting out aircraft fires at the airport's fire training center off Lake Mirror Road near the airport.
The drills using real jet fuel sent a column of black smoke into the air Monday morning and early afternoon, burning about 1,500 gallons of jet fuel for the exercise. The smoke during the airport's regular firefighting training often prompts hundreds of calls from concerned residents.
"It's a real fire, it's the best thing that a firefighter can train," said Markus Kleist, a firefighter and Swiss Air Force project engineer. "Very interesting, very hard."
The airport holds such drills for ongoing training of its own firefighters, and opened up the facility to the conference delegates this week.