Synthesis Topics

Synthesis: Best practices in Airport Emergency Plans In Reserve

While Part 139 establishes standards for AEPs, the depth and quality of AEPs seems to vary across the industry. While some airports have enhanced their AEPs, many AEPs, while meeting the requirements of Part 139, may not truly meet the needs of airports in an emergency.

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

While Part 139 establishes standards for AEPs, the depth and quality of AEPs seems to vary across the industry. Some airports have enhanced their AEPs by following guidance documents such as AC 150-5200-31C, FEMA planning guidance (such as CPG 101), and others; many airports have plans that appear to only meet the requirements of Part 139, but may not actually meet their own needs as implementation-ready plans that can be operationalized in time of need. This disparity in AEPs was noted during our implementation of ACRP 04-04B, where we worked with a variety of airports across the country, and mirrors the range of emergency operations plans we also see developed by communities nation-wide. Further, Part 139 does not address the full spectrum of hazards which airports may face, including active shooter/hostile event responses, communicable diseases, and others.

Assembling a synthesis of standards, guidance, and best practices would provide a resource book for airports to draw from as they update their own AEPs. It may also influence an update to Part 139 to reasonably expand on requirements for AEPs.

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

Foundationally, the synthesis would identify the planning requirements established by Part 139, as well as relevant emergency planning guidance such as AC 150-5200-31C, FEMA's CPG 101 and 201, NFPA 424 (Guide for Airport/Community Emergency Planning), NPFA 1600 (Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity/Continuity of Operations Programs), and NFPA 3000 (Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Program).

Next, a sampling of AEPs from a variety of airports around the nation can be examined to identify best practices, with context provided by airport emergency managers who can identify what they have done relative to the AEPs, the challenges faced, and how they overcame those challenges. They can also speak to lessons learned from incidents, events, and exercises in validating their plans and the improvements that came as a result.

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.

There are a variety of related ACRP research documents, including:
*Report 12 (An Airport Guide for Regional Emergency Planning for CBRNE Events)
*Report 112 (Airport Terminal Incident Response Planning)
*Synthesis 50 (Effective Cooperation Among Airports and Local and Regional Emergency Management Agencies for Disaster Preparedness and Response)
*Synthesis 83 (Preparing Airports for Communicable Diseases on Arriving Flights)
*Web-Only Document 31 (Improving Stakeholder Engagement in Aircraft Accident Response Planning)

While these documents could inform the proposed synthesis, none of them, collectively or individually, fully address the objective of this project as they only address facets of emergency planning or specific hazards.

Idea No. 136