All airports differ in size, complexity, and whom they are operated by. However, the one thing that unites all of them is that they are not prone to various emergencies and incidents, from terrorist attacks to natural disasters. Thus, the improvement of airport emergency management, coordination processes, and incident response capabilities is essential. It is served through Airport Emergency Planning (AEP) per 14CFR Part 139.325 requirement and Strategic Tactical Operations (STO) by an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) (Airport Emergency Plan, 2009). The problem arises when, despite the fact that these two emergency response protocols are vital to be used simultaneously, they lack congruence in several aspects.
The main issue is that the specifications for AEP and ARFF are different in STO. The AEP deals with essential emergency-related actions to ensure the safety of the airport and the people (Airport Emergency Plan, 2004). An ARFF is assigned specific responsibilities in case of an airport incident as a part of the airport emergency planning. The STO dictates how these responsibilities are established and delegated. The separate functionality of airport emergencies creates an unbalanced system that is unable to communicate over an urgent problem. The regulations are required to implement proper procedural guidance for effective emergency response.
Significance of the Problem
The following problem is a significant issue since it embraces the whole airport infrastructure. In case of an incident that is not promptly resolved, it can also lead to civilian death and significant airport damage. The dissociation of the airport cohorts can become a major impediment to the mitigation effort not only on the planning stage but in real-life scenarios as well.
- Alternative Action 1. Create a unified practice for AEP and ARFF training and redefine the standards to coordinate the requirements in a way that does not disrupt either.
- Advantage: The unified organization of emergency regulation by all the substituent organizations must not waste time in case of an incident and have an organized effort for the problem’s fastest resolution. The additional process for reorganization allows for a better organization and, in the end, leads to a lesser possibility of damage during an emergency (White, 2019). Creating a unified process ensures that every party knows its responsibilities and the necessary steps to be taken.
- Disadvantage: An attempt to centralize institutions for the strategic operations may instead result in a more considerable dissociation. The consensus is often hard to reach on implementing new procedures that demand additional responsibilities.
- Alternative Action 2. Create an airport AEP without the strategic planning or tactics included. Only the Strategic Tactical Planning roles are left for immediate action.
- Advantage: The absence of a unified strategy for emergency control, surprisingly, gives a larger space for planning. Since each emergency is unique in its own way because of the circumstances it occurs in, it is reasonable to avoid having a single point of reference for the emergency actions. Leaving the specifications for people to ask institutions in charge of a specific task gives a wider variety of actions that better suit a particular situation.
- Disadvantages: Not only the absence of an established course of action for an organization can be dangerous in case of a disagreement in an uneventful setting, but it also may be seen as unlawful and not meet the airport compliance certification. The lack of stated details on the emergency operation can be regarded as an irresponsible attitude towards airport duties.
A redefined unified practice is to be established for making organized decisions in case of an emergency in all divisions of the airport. The incident simulation for establishing required procedures is required to create and optimize the existing emergency plans. The modified emergency plan needs to be practiced and modified upon necessity.
Airport Emergency Plan, 14 CFR 139.325. (2004). Web.
Airport Emergency Plan, AC 150/5200-31C. (2009). Web.
White, G. (2019). One airport, two states, three fire services-lets get coordinated. National Emergency Response, 32(1), 16.