Research Projects

Assessing airport strategies for protecting the public from communicable diseases In Reserve

The proposed research investigation should encompass:

A. Investigate how the March 13, 2020 DHS Notice of Arrival Restrictions (NAR) affected the designated arrival airports.

B. Determine COVID-19 health screenings protocols and self-quarantine recommendations at each airport for returning travelers.

C. Did airports follow their Communicable Disease Preparedness plan for the COVID-19 event, and if so is the plan adequate for this emergency.

D. Determine usage of the airports implement the use of the ACRP Synthesis 83 Checklist for Airport Communicable Disease Response Planning.

E. Model the potential impact of hand hygiene behavioral changes on COVID-19 risk if such changes were implemented at the 13 arrival airports identified by the NAR.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

The recent COVID-19 pandemic highlights the extreme human and economic costs of disruptions to air travel and the U.S. and global economies. In response, large airports in the U.S. have Communicable Disease Preparedness Plans per World Health Organization (WHO) guidance. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) has examined the aviation industry's roles and responsibilities related to communicable diseases. Furthermore, in response to the Ebola epidemic, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the preparedness of the U.S. aviation system to respond to communicable diseases. Multiple reports by ACRP and GAO recognized the critical role air travel and airports serve with regards the spread and control of communicable diseases such as COVID-19. Specific recommended practices, policies, and procedures were part of the research and it is critical for the industry to validate if the suggest recommendations and practices were followed as well as their impact.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The major objective of this research is to determine the use and effectiveness of the Appendix G, Checklist for Airport Communicable Disease Response Planning from the ACRP report "Preparing Airports for Communicable Diseases on Arriving Flights (2017)" at the US airports under the March 13, 2020 DHS Notice of Arrival Restrictions (NAR).

The second objective is to determine the process and effectiveness of the exit screenings conducted by the airports under the March 13, 2020 DHS Notice of Arrival Restrictions (NAR).

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

Detailed interviews with each of the airports under the March 13, 2020 DHS Notice of Arrival Restrictions (NAR).

Assessment of the use and effectiveness of the Appendix G, Checklist for Airport Communicable Disease Response Planning.

Assessment of the exit screenings conducted by the airports under the March 13, 2020 DHS Notice of Arrival Restrictions (NAR).

Determine best practices, conclusions and recommendations.

Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

$350,000 and 12 months

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

GAO. 2015. Air Travel and Communicable Diseases: Comprehensive Federal Plan Needed for U.S. Aviation Preparedness. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Accountability Office. https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/674224.pdf.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2017. Preparing Airports for Communicable Diseases on Arriving Flights. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24880.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Roles in Reducing Transmission of Communicable Diseases. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25367.

Nicolaides, C., Avraam, D., Cueto‐Felgueroso, L., González, M.C. and Juanes, R. 2020, Hand‐Hygiene Mitigation Strategies Against Global Disease Spreading through the Air Transportation Network. Risk Analysis. doi:10.1111/risa.13438

Vonnahme, L. A., M. R. Jungerman, R. K. Gulati, P. Illig, and F. Alvarado-Ramy. 2017. U.S. Federal Travel Restrictions for Persons with Higher-Risk Exposures to Communicable Diseases of Public Health Concern. Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 23(13). https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/13/17-0386_article.

WHO. 2005. Strengthening Health Security by Implementing the International Health Regulations: About IHR. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/ihr/about/en/.

WHO. 2009. Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation: Module 1: Water, Module 2: Cleaning and Disinfection of Facilities. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/ihr/ports_airports/guide_hygiene_sanitation_aviation_3_edition_wcov.pdf.

Annotations
Idea No. 403