Research Projects

Practical Guide for Effective Tabletop Exercises

Assigned to Erik Bullard
Last Edited by Erik Bullard

Develop practical guidance with examples on how to effectively plan, organize, conduct, evaluate outcomes, and improve operational processes as a result of tabletop exercises.

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

Tabletop exercises are required by certificated airports to exercise train airport personnel in airport procedures, examine airport guidance for gaps, and ensure responsible personnel are refreshed in processes and requirements so that actions in a real emergency are precise and timely. FAA guidance is dated, and research can result in more effective and practical references, particularly for small airports with limited staff and resources. Updating guidance or creating a source document that helps airports maximize their available resources for exercising of emergency processes is needed. The guidance should walk the airport operator through the steps required to plan for and execute the tabletop exercises. Airport plans need to include not only who will participate in exercises, but how they contribute and with what tools. It is also vital that the tabletop be realistically scripted so that the sequence of events is reacted to as though it were real, and the outcomes can be measured as to the effectiveness of the steps taken. Lastly, there are ways to effectively "hot wash" or debrief following the conclusion of exercises and tabletops. This research should also provide means and methods for the examination of the conduct of the exercise and how airports translate exercise lessons to the modification of airport policy and proactive. The ability for an airport to objectively analyze the results from the exercises is a skill that needs proactive to master. This research should examine ways to optimize the learning for the betterment of airport practices.

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

A report with practical guidance with examples on how to effectively plan, organize, conduct, evaluate outcomes, and improve operational processes as a result of tabletop exercises.

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Idea No. 377