Airport disaster preparedness in a community context : final report, February 26, 2009.
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Airport disaster preparedness in a community context : final report, February 26, 2009.

Filetype[PDF-216.29 KB]


  • English

  • Details:

    • Resource Type:
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    • Edition:
      Final report; Feb 26, 2009
    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Planning and Policy;NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness;NTL-AVIATION-Airports and Facilities;NTL-AVIATION-Air Traffic Control;NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Human Factors;
    • Abstract:
      In our current economic, climatic, and political environment, airports and their surrounding communities are seeking effective ways to address disaster planning with foresight, common sense, and economy. Airports are traditionally reliable, essential assets in nearly every aspect of disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery, and they currently engage in cooperative planning, training, drilling, and exercising with a wide array of local, state, and federal emergency management agencies (EMAs). Building on these existing cooperative connections, forging new relationships, sharing expertise and resources, and ensuring that these links stay strong over time can efficiently and economically move airport and community preparedness to a measurably higher level.

      This study uses survey results from 37 U.S. airports to examine the current state of cooperation among airports and their partners and suggests ways to strengthen and develop existing bonds to ensure community preparedness along with the protection and promotion of both airport operations and business continuity. Cooperation and coordination can be strengthened through building personal relationships, and succession planning can ensure relationship continuity over time. Surge capacity during disaster response can be enhanced through wise mutual aid agreements made effective through intensive joint training, drilling, and exercising. Regional cooperation and coordination among airports and EMAs is a powerful and cost-effective form of mitigation against all types of hazards.

      Best management practices, innovative preparedness measures, and gaps in preparedness for non-aviation disasters are explored. Benefits of cooperation between airports and EMAs include efficiency of communications; leveraging personal relationships; mutual trust and mutual respect; rapid response; minimization of red tape; shared experiences building shared expertise; and interoperability and interchangeability of skills and equipment. Areas of concern include lack of “diagonal” awareness, a potential for poor coordination within an airport or an agency, and a potential for mixed signals and crossed communications. Airports and their surrounding communities can effectively enhance preparedness by minimizing or eliminating weaknesses, developing benefits, and building on existing strengths.

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