Research Projects

Integrated Contingency Planning for Small Airports In Reserve

Small airports—that is, general aviation, non-hub, and small hub airports—can benefit significantly by integrating standard business planning with all aspects of resiliency planning.

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

Small airports find themselves on their own, not knowing what resources are available or whom to ask for assistance in developing resiliency plans. Moreover, they miss the benefits of integrating their business plans with continuity of operations, emergency, and recovery plans. Recent events such as the pandemic have shown how strong the interaction is between an airport's business plan and its ability to sustain operations and recover. This interactive effect is especially strong at small airports with small full-time staffs and limited financial resources.

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

o To help smaller airports find their low hanging fruit organizationally and financially which plays strongly into resiliency, thereby moving small airports closer to self-sufficiency.

o To develop effective methods of integrating business plans, business continuity plans (BCP), continuity of operations plans (COOP), airport emergency plans (AEP), recovery plans, and resiliency plans that will be workable within the staffing and financial resources available to small airports.

o To quantify the benefits of integrated contingency planning for small airports.

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

o Develop a standard project scope that airports can use to make sure that they have a solid starting point to get the help they need.

o Analyze airport financials--determine what the financial bread and butter is for airports (e.g., fuel sales), identify threats to revenue, and look for reasonable ways to sustain airport operations and capabilities despite revenue losses.

o Seek airports of any size that have all these types of plans.

o Look for airports that have tried to integrate such plans.

o Perform case studies on methods of plan integration.

o Perform cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis on plan integration methods, with a primary focus on the personnel costs of recovering from layoffs or other disruptions.

o Convert lessons learned from any sized airport into a form directly usable by small airports.

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

$500,000 based on previous ACRP research projects with similar extensive data collection, assimilation, and field testing of newly developed procedures.

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.

No existing research addresses the integration of business plans and the various types of emergency plans.

This research problem pertains to four of the seven ACRP Emerging Issues: Challenges and Opportunities for the Airport Business Model, Airport Sustainability, Enhancing Resiliency of Airports and Interrelated Systems, and Enhancing the Aviation Ecosystem.

Idea No. 682