Research Projects

Integrating NIMS into Airport Emergency Response Plans

Develop guidance for airports to best integrate the processes and training requirements associated with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) with existing guidance on airport emergency management. The research should focus on resolving differences, reducing redundancy in training and reporting requirements, and customize NIMS toolkits to best fit the airport environment.

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

Numerous resources and guidance exist regarding organizational emergency management, but guidance specific to the emergencies an airport may face in an integrated and comprehensive way is lacking. Airports are being driven toward following National Incident Management System (NIMS), however following the NIMS may not provide the airport with the specific knowledge to effectively deal with their emergencies given the size of the staff, the nature of the response required and the configuration of the airport. NIMS functions and processes are incorporated into Advisory Circular 150/5200-31C which provides guidance to airports regarding the development of an Airport Emergency Plan. However navigating NIMS, which is not specific to aviation, and implementing the concepts and processes into airport practices can be challenging. Airports across the country have lessons gained from experience in dealing with numerous and various emergencies. This research will provide a means to share the processes and organization structures that can respond effectively to emergencies yet to be faced by all but a small number of airports.
NIMS provides guidance on resources, training, response organizational structure and mutual aid, along with other concepts and processes related to emergency management. Direct application of the guidance may be easy for large airports with significant resources; however smaller airports will likely need to rely on outside entities to round out their capabilities. This research would expand upon other ACRP projects such as ACRP 10-22: Improving Stakeholder Engagement in Aircraft Accident Planning; ACRP 10-28: Practical Guide for Integrating Crisis Management and Business Continuity; and ACRP 04-19: airport Emergency Planning Template: NIMS - Incident Command System Compliance.

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

A report with guidance for airports to best integrate the processes and training requirements associated with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) with existing guidance on airport emergency management. The research should focus on resolving differences, reducing redundancy in training and reporting requirements, and customize NIMS tool kits to best fit the airport environment.

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Idea No. 341