Research Projects

Best Practices in Disaster/Resilience Planning for Airport/Airline Employees and Business Partners

Airport Emergency Plan requirements do not fully recognize the impact on airport employees and business partners in times of disasters or emergency events. Lessons can be learned from aviation organizations such as Jet Blue who have models for anticipating employee and business partners family needs for emergency support. Essential employees need support for their families in order to assist the airport and community in either serving during the event or recovery.

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

The Airport Emergency Plan prescribed by the FAA provides excellent outline for addressing preparation for Disaster Planning. After hurricane events or other emergency events, it has become clear that additional structured planning is needed to address the needs of airport and business partners who provide essential support such as food in the airport for the family so that the personnel can continue to work as required as essential personnel without worrying about their family's needs. Best practices need to be identified through interviews, research of information, conference and seminars on the best ways that are already in place to help the families. Certain ACRP reports have address elements of assistance for aviation and partners, but more clearly identified measures of assistance such as budget support, planning and logistical support is needed. A more structured approach needs to be devised with a formal structured research project to seek out best practices and examples of airports and/or airlines who provide family support for employees and business partners. A Guidebook to outline discovered best practices to support airport employees and business partners' families would be a resource for our aviation community for airports, airlines, and business partners to supplement the AEP.

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

The desired outcome of this research project would be to create a Guidebook to Incorporate Employee and Family Support in AEP and/or disaster/emergency event planning.

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

Organizations such as ASUR have sponsored seminars with speakers who have shared ideas for this type of family planning in advance of disasters and post-disasters. Airports such as PREP, ART, Aerostar, etc. have identified the need for inclusion of employee assistance for families. The Approach would be to identify organizations that have spoken or written documents to outline best practices through a thorough research effort with a literature search, conference and presentation review, and interviews with identified organizations who have identified family assistance beyond the requirements of the AEP. Organizations such as the FAA, FEMA, and PREP, ART and other relief organizations will be interviewed to discover any exemplary models which may provide the basis of a model which could be incorporated and replicated with adjustments for local conditions as a supplement to the AEP. Reseach would be reviewed as to potential applicability for airports to implement. A peer review committee would be formed to ensure that the implementation of findings will be pragmatic and able to be applied to airports. A Guidebook on Incorporating Employee Support in Emergency Planning would be the culmination of this effort which would provide specific examples with budgets for the recommended best prctices.

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

Four tasks totaling $220,500 involving a prime and two subcontractors using a University with students for efficiencies and through research coupled with aviation team including experts in disaster and resilience planning. Task 1 - Contract and start project;Task 2 - Research effort including interviews; Task 4 - Preparation of Interim Report Task 5 - Preparation of Final Report. Estimation based on other projects with the prime aviation firm- 750 hours; University - 410 hours; disaster/resilience firm 125 hours. Time estimated for each task varies on the nature of the task, but the project should be accomplished in about twelve months. Cost estimate is based on other projects requiring discovery research and application with only 2 deliverables anticipated.

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.

ACRP Report 187 addressed transportation Emergency Response Application and EOC Exercises. Exercises should include the preparation for airport families planning.
ACRP Reports 186 and 198 centers on workforce capacity and provides support materials but needs to clarify how mission critical airport staff are assured their families are safe and secure while they work on the airport.. Other documents such as Legal Research Digest 33 (overview of airport duties and standards of care in airfield accident cases is a great research effort with application to airfield accident context but might be enhanced with more detail on responsibilities for the airport employee framework. Other ACRP publications refer to the planning and assistance needed but do not adequately address this subject. The gap in many airport tabletop and mandatory three year Disaster Event exercises is not pre-planning for airport families. These type of events involve the community and identify gaps in potential performance during and after emergencies but do not address the needs of airport employees and their concern for their families. There is a gap in the planning and implementation of most airport emergency plans and tabletop exercises. Airports and airlines have identified this gap in sponsored seminars such as the ASUR Hurricane Seminar held in Puerto Rico in March, 2019. This is why this idea is being presented. Attendees included response agencies, Caribbean and Mexican airports and airlines, along with consultants and disaster relief organizations tried to address this issue but suggested there is a definite gap that needs to be closed through identifying best practices. This idea would facilitate the capture of information on the current best practices and thinking of industry leaders such as the FAA, ACI-LAC, ACI -NA and AAAE to create the foundation for a Guidebook to be used by airports, airlines and business partners to facilitate appropriate planning for airport and business partners essential staff employees. Additionally, budgets for support must be identified which would be a further gap in many airport cases as a part of disaster prepardness.

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Idea No. 217