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5 agement and emergency prevention, preparedness, response, ability to manage an acute emergency. 14 CFR 121.417 outlines recovery and mitigation programs and activities. In addition, the specific requirements needed by an air carrier in order to the DHS also directed that those agencies support and assist mitigate an actual emergency situation such as in-flight aircraft state, local and tribal entities if they request Federal assistance fires or hijackings, but does not list any post-event psycholog- (DHS, 2004, p. iii). ical or "trauma handling" regulations. According to the DHS, "NIMS represents a core set of The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) currently maintains doctrine, concepts, principles, terminology and organiza- a Critical Incident Response Program (CIRP) for its pilot tional processes to enable effective, efficient and collabora- members (Steenblik, 2001). As part of this program, every tive event and incident management at all levels. It is not an member airline has a trained CIRP team which utilizes several operations incident management or resource allocation plan" trauma-related mitigation techniques. Their preferred meth- (DHS, 2004, p. ix). NIMS is described as a framework for ods of stress interventions include debriefings and "defusings" "interoperability and compatibility based on appropriate which typically involve interaction between those experienc- balance of flexibility and standardization" (nimsonline.com). ing traumatic events and the peer-based CIRP-trained team This framework integrates what many regard as the best prac- (Steenblik, 2001). tices into a nationwide approach to event and incident manage- ment that is broken down into six major areas (1) command Airports and management, (2) preparedness, (3) resource management, (4) communications and information management, (5) sup- In a review of the Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) advisory porting technologies, and (6) ongoing management and main- circular (AC/150/5200-31B) currently in draft format, it tenance (nimsonline.com). appears the Federal Aviation Administration has initiated The DHS reports that NIMS has undergone extensive a number of changes for airports. This draft, if approved, vetting and coordination with the Federal government which will replace an advisory circular from 1999. The substantial has also included outreach to state and local officials, and the changes suggested in the new advisory circular primarily relate private sector. As a result, the NIMS program incorporates to the addition of National Fire Protection Association stan- best practices at all levels of emergency management systems dards for equipment and training related to airport firefighters (DHS, 2004). Aside from this assertion, it should be noted and the application of the National Incident Management that there is presently little empirical evidence identified in- System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS). dicating the efficacy of NIMS or the ICS. The FAA cites that the recent terrorist attacks and natural While many incidents are handled by a single local juris- disasters highlight a need to refine the airport emergency plan- diction, there are certain types of events and incidents and ning efforts and have all jurisdictions act together across all disasters that will require Federal aid. In order to meet these functional disciples. needs, and because of the diverse and expansive structure amongst governmental agencies and divisions, the DHS hopes Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 03-288, as amended, the elected offi- NIMS will create successful coordination across all levels of cials and the communities that own and operate airports are government. It is hoped that NIMS will provide the effective legally responsible for ensuring that necessary and appropriate coordination across the varied groups that may be involved actions are taken to protect people and property from the conse- in a major disaster, which will enable all groups to come to- quences of emergencies and disasters. These communities must gether and offer a well-integrated, effective incident manage- also develop emergency preparedness programs to assist the local ment system. and state emergency management officials in complying with emergency preparedness responsibilities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published the National Inci- Aviation Requirements-- dent Management System (NIMS) and the State and Local Guide Disaster/Emergency Planning (SLG 101), Guide for All-Hazard Emergency Operations Planning. NIMS and SLG 101 provide emergency managers and other Air Carriers (Part 121, 125, and 135) emergency services providers with information regarding the FEMA concept for developing risk-based, all hazards Emergency The FAA currently requires all air carriers operating under Operations Plans (EOPs) (FAA, 2008b, p. 3). 14 CFR 121, 125, or 135 to have established accident report- ing procedures. These procedures must be published in the Section 8 of the advisory circular, AEP, outlines health carrier's operations manual stipulated in 14 CFR 121.135, and medical planning. It is evident that the advisory circular 125.73, and 135.23. Aside from this requirement, the FAA is oriented toward treatment, transport, and evacuation of does not mandate any type of structured program dealing injured persons, or the response actions; but, the plan does not with issues of employee or operator resiliency after an acci- address the actual airport workers' mental health issues that dent; rather, the emphasis is keenly placed on an operator's may arise from working during traumatic events. However,
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6 section 6-8-2 (6) does address potential utilization of mental receives general aviation traffic, there is no requirement for health agencies; the circular indicates that an airport should emergency planning and training. Many airports across the ensure that the appropriate mental health services are avail- country have emergency plans, but there is no reporting or able for disaster victims, survivors, bystanders, responders and training requirement set forth by the FAA. their families, and other airport caregivers during response It is recommended that organizations that do not have a and recovery (FAA, 2008b, p. 82). regulatory requirement look within their region to locate the appropriate resources. A small general aviation airport Services may include crisis counseling, critical incident stress would be directed to look within their city, county, region, debriefings, information and referral to other resources, and edu- and state to determine which resources would be appropriate cation about normal, predictable reactions to disaster experience and necessitate the proper mutual aid agreements. and how to cope with them. There should be predictable reactions to disaster experience and how to cope with them. There should be specialized family crisis assistance available for those affected National Transportation Safety Board by a traumatic event or who become traumatized by cumulative stress related to the disaster experience (FAA, 2008b, p. 82). The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is a gov- ernment agency tasked with the investigation of transporta- The FAA introduces the idea of CISM, but clearly leaves tion accidents and incidents with the overall goal of making the concept and its implementation up to each individual safety recommendations. In the process of investigation, they airport. It is not evident whether the FAA will direct an air- can request expertise from a variety of sources, including, but port to implement any sort of mental health programs for not limited to, the FAA, airlines, equipment manufacturers, airport workers. It should be noted that the FAA's advisory maintenance organizations, air traffic control, meteorology circular on emergency planning pertains only to FAR Part 139 information sources, and advocate groups. Their purpose is airports, which are those airports that serve regularly sched- to identify the probable cause of the accident, issues related uled air carrier (FAR Part 121) operations with aircraft oper- to safety, and to make recommendations to the appropriate ating with more than nine seats on board. agencies for actions which mitigate safety hazards in all forms Under Federal Aviation Regulation 14 CFR 139 (FAR 139), of transportation. those airports serving air carrier aircraft with more than nine While jurisdiction of the scene can vary by location (military seats on board, must have Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting installations) or activity (potential crime scenes), the NTSB is (ARFF) capabilities on the airfield when the air carrier is con- often the lead organization present during aircraft incident ducting operations. The ARFF personnel must be trained to recovery and investigation. In that position, NTSB investi- FAR specifications and must be able to respond to the mid- gators provide guidance to the victims, families, and support point of the farthest runway from the fire station within 3 min personnel from the airlines, airport, and surrounding commu- of the alarm. nity agencies. While their original job tasking was primarily the Airports falling under FAR 139 must have an Airport Emer- investigation of the incident, their duties were expanded by the gency Plan (AEP). This plan must specify how it would han- Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996. dle a myriad of emergency situations, including aircraft and The mission of the Federal Family Assistance Plan for Avi- natural disasters. Each airport must have their AEP approved ation Disasters (2000) is to "provide psychological assistance by the FAA. In addition, each airport must comply with train- and logistical support and services to victims and their fam- ing standards that predicate a full scale mock emergency exer- ily members." In the details of the plan, mental health sup- cise every 3 years, and with those years in between, training port is also intended for individuals who are supporting the must be satisfied with a "table top," or a classroom-type emer- incident investigation as well. The responsibilities are divided gency exercise. into seven victim support tasks with primary organizations Those airports that receive general aviation traffic and non- holding responsibility. The area of family care and mental scheduled air carrier operations have no emergency planning health is delegated to the American Red Cross in the case of requirement under the FAA. A critical factor is to understand commercial air carrier disasters. that under present rules, no airport is required to have a Men- The American Red Cross activates trained personnel who tal Health Recovery Plan (MHRP) for employees post-disaster. staff operations centers with primary goals of providing assis- tance to those in need and coordinating and managing vol- unteers and organizations who offer counseling, religious, and Aviation Entities Not Covered other support services. The Red Cross is tasked with activat- by Federal Regulations ing personnel to "provide crises and grief counseling to fam- Airports that do not serve FAR Part 121 air carriers are not ily members and support personnel." Additional direction in required to have an emergency plan and are not governed by their plan directs the Red Cross to " . . . assess the needs and FAR 139. Therefore, if an airport is open to the public and available resources of other agencies and coordinate with