“That is ridiculous. Have some respect. People died 12 years ago on flights originating out of your airport. How dare you,” one person wrote.
Another asked why authorities would schedule the drill on a day when travelers are already “on edge.”
“As we were landing and pulling into the gate I saw this big huge plume of smoke,” said Jeremy Berdman, who was on a flight from New York City to Boston when he saw the drill from his airplane window. “Initially I thought the plane had crashed.”
The two jetliners that were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, took off from Logan Airport on September 11, 2001.
“With the occurrences that happened here on September 11 and the flight that took off from here, I agree, it’s probably not the most appropriate thing to do,” remarked Rick Jaslowski as he waited for his baggage to arrive from Detroit.
By noon, Massport apologized for the drill on the Logan Airport Facebook page and Twitter feed.
“Massport apologizes for conducting the fire training exercise and understands that it may have offended many of those touched by the events of Sept. 11. Safety and security is our top priority and constant vigilance and readiness is critical, but the exercise should not have taken place on the anniversary of 9/11. The airport community recognizes the day with moments of silence, a service in the chapel, and a wreath at the 9/11 memorial.”
Gov. Deval Patrick told the State House News Service holding the drill on the anniversary of September 11 was “just dumb.”
“It’s just dumb. I mean the timing could not be worse,” Patrick told reporters.
The fire department will be training this morning. Smoke on the airfield is part of the training.—
Boston Logan Airport (@BostonLogan) September 11, 2013
WBZ-TV’s Whitney Burbank contributed to this report.