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Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices (2015)

Chapter: Chapter One - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22151.
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3 OVERVIEW Over the past few decades, airports have substantially improved their ability to mitigate and respond effectively to emergency situations. However, the final aspect of the overall response scenario, recovery, is often overlooked during planning because of the strong historical emphasis on prevention, mitiga- tion, and response. In particular, there has been a strong regulatory requirement for response planning but not for planning for recovery. The classic model for emergency management is a four-step cycle of preparedness and preven- tion, mitigation, response, and recovery (Figure 1). For decades, emergency management theory and practice has made a top priority of safety, espe- cially for aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF). As a result, whereas many studies and plans address preparedness, mitigation, and response at airports, the recovery phase receives at best a cursory treat- ment. For example, the FAA’s June 2009 Advisory Circular 150/5200-31C, Airport Emergency Plan (31C) details extensive planning and preparedness activities and requires airports to imple- ment the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS). However, 31C does not explicitly address the recovery phase of emergency management except to say that a recovery plan may either be incorporated in the airport emergency plan (AEP) or be a stand-alone document. 31C states that the AEP “does not need to reflect all four phases of Comprehen- sive Emergency Management (CEM). Rather, its focus should be mainly on response and the initial recovery issues. Detailed Mitigation Plans, Administrative Plans, or Recovery Plans can be handled separately” (FAA 2009, pp. 2–3). As was made clear in the 37 interviews and emphasized in the four case examples, every airport is different. Such differences are created by governance, geography, airport layout, nature of opera- tions, media environment, and politics. Because of these variations, it is important that each airport clarify the responsibilities and roles of all key positions in its NIMS, ICS, emergency operations center (EOC), and command post in each specific response plan and the accompanying recovery plan. Furthermore, plans and training can clarify the relationships between the airport EOC and a command post, making clear who is doing what and who is in control. Lastly, there is a need to clarify how the rest of the airport will be managed while recovery is underway. This study seeks to initiate a deeper conversation about approaches to planning for the recovery phase of emergency response that could lead to substantial improvement in the overall resiliency of airports. Currently, the connection between preparedness and recovery receives far less attention than that between preparedness and response. Most airports address recovery on a case-by-case, ad-hoc basis. However, recently some airport managers have learned that systematically improving recovery strategies and techniques can help them minimize disruption while caring for their employees, ten- ants, travelers, and stakeholders, leading to significant savings in time and money following a major event or incident. This study depends on surveyed airports’ accurate reporting and insights into extremely challeng- ing incidents. Four case examples illustrate the complex dynamics of the recovery process. A list of the most effective post-emergency recovery practices that emerged from the airports’ hard-won experience is presented in Appendix A. chapter one INTRODUCTION

4 Preparedness, Mitigation, Response, Recovery, and Their Relation to Resiliency In the traditional emergency management cycle, “preparedness” (used interchangeably with or in conjunction with “prevention”) refers to actions taken in advance to be ready to respond to and recover from a specific type of risk, hazard, or incident. “Mitigation” refers to actions that moderate or lessen the impact of a damaging incident. “Response” encompasses actions taken in the immedi- ate aftermath of an incident to save lives, meet basic human needs, reduce the loss of property, and preserve evidence. The fourth phase, “recovery,” is frequently neglected in the planning stage. In the context of this report, an airport’s “full recovery” is achieved when the prescribed safety and security standards have been regained and capacity for aircraft operations is restored to the level that existed prior to the incident. A phased recovery may occur in which aircraft operations resume at a reduced level, or when some facilities or functions are still in the response phase while other parts of the airport are in recovery. In its 2011 National Disaster Recovery Framework, FEMA focused on nine significant themes and recommendations for recovery: • Individual and family empowerment • Leadership and local primacy • Pre-disaster recovery planning • Partnerships and inclusiveness • Public information • Unity of effort • Timeliness and flexibility • Resilience and sustainability • Psychological and emotional recovery. These nine principles serve as the foundation of the 37 surveyed airports’ approach to recovery from an accident, emergency, or disaster. An airport’s ability to recover effectively is the measure of its resiliency. The term “resiliency” is a relative newcomer to emergency management theory and practice. Literally meaning “to rebound,” the term traditionally carries two connotations: the ability to resist damage or degrada- tion; or the ability to degrade gracefully and to be restored to some adequate level of function after- wards (Smith and Mastrangelo 2008). More usefully, resiliency can be defined as a combination of those two concepts—the ability to resist damage from a disaster and/or to recover quickly to an acceptable level of function afterwards (Smith 2013). FIGURE 1 Emergency management cycle.

5 Smith discusses the interrelations among response, recovery, preparedness, and resiliency in the Caribbean Maritime Exchange blog: If a facility or organization seeks to be prepared, it must have clearly defined operational goals, a realistic and comprehensive risk or hazard analysis, an implementable plan to face those risks and hazards, and a staff that is trained and ready to carry out the plan before, during, and after a disaster. The same four components are necessary for making a facility or organization resilient, but some other aspects must be considered: • Time—how long does the entity have to recover; how much warning will there be for an impending disaster? • Will—does the entity have the will to make the investments in structures, equipment, people, procedures, and training to create preparedness? • Robustness—is the facility or organization robust enough to take a major hit and either continue operations at an acceptable level or quickly recover? • Redundancy—does the facility have adequate duplicate systems or alternative systems to support an accept- able level of function after a disaster? • Flexibility/Agility—can the facility or organization do work-arounds when it has been damaged? • Money—is the facility or organization willing to invest in training, planning, robustness, redundancy, and flexibility/agility? Does it have the resources to make this investment? Modern transportation and logistics risk management focuses on strengthening systems so that they are more robust, redundant, and flexible—in a word, resilient—in the face of traumatic events. This overall ability of airports to bounce back permeates all phases of emergency management, including recovery; and is an important consideration in the design and operation of any critical infrastructure (Link et al. 2014). As has been seen in previous studies (Smith 2010; ACRP Report 73—IEM et al. 2012; ACRP Synthesis 45—Smith and Kenville 2013; ACRP Synthesis 50—Smith 2014; ACRP Report 95— IEM et al. 2014a), relationships matter greatly and are worth fostering in advance of any incident. Such relationships may be among airport departments, between the airport and its mutual aid partners, or between the airport and its other stakeholders such as airlines and tenants. For rela- tionships to remain vital and useful, they require focus and purpose; in this study, that purpose is the shared need for effective recovery of the airport after a serious incident. How Recovery Matters Recovery and its elements, such as duration, completeness, cost, and effectiveness, affect the level of economic and emotional hardship incurred after an event or incident by the airport, airlines, pas- sengers, shippers, tenants, concessionaires, etc. Recovery efficiency is likely the greatest factor in determining the success of an airport’s business continuity plan (BCP). The potential effects of an extreme incident can range from local to worldwide, affecting the social and economic health of the airport’s catchment area, the national aviation system, the nation, or the world, as was seen during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruptions in Iceland. A poor airport recovery—whether assessed internally by the airport and its tenants or externally by the public, media, and politicians—can damage an airport’s professional reputation. Conversely, a successful recovery can substantially enhance both employee morale and commitment and public perception of the overall quality of an airport. In the aftermath of a disaster, victims and responders often invoke Friedrich Nietzsche’s obser- vation “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Such strength relies upon a dedication to study the incident, determine the characteristics and pattern of the recovery, extract lessons learned, and apply those insights to reform or reinforce plans, programs, procedures, training, and facilities to ensure better recovery efforts in the future. Types of Incidents That Require Recovery Any incident forcing the closure of all or a significant part of an airport requires a combination of decisions, procedures, and steps necessary to return the airport to full normal operations and

6 capacity. This study addresses four major types of incidents that may cause large operational disrup- tions at airports: • Aircraft accidents such as crashes, fires, or collisions; • Natural disasters, for example, hurricanes, floods, windstorms, tornados, earthquakes, ice storms, blizzards, wildfire, volcanic eruptions, dust storms, or sandstorms; • Criminal acts (also widely called manmade incidents), such as terrorist actions, shootings, bombings, threats, sabotage, hostage-taking, or hijacking; and • Systems failures such as electrical failure, baggage handling systems failure, air traffic control issues, airfield lighting outages, or fuel farm fires. The primary focus of this study is on events and incidents occurring at the airports. Two excep- tions are worth noting: • Sometimes an incident entirely off the airport can disrupt airport operations to the point where recovery procedures are necessary. For example, a major regional disaster such as a flood may not damage an airport physically, but could put extraordinary operational stresses on an airport. • Crashes can happen off the airport property that directly and indirectly affect the airport; such crashes are included in this study because they require recovery actions. Irregular Operations and Recovery Irregular Operations (IROPS) responses by airports have been the focus of public and congressional scrutiny beginning with weather-related multi-hour disruptions in 2007 and 2008, as well as the topic of several recent major ACRP studies and guidebooks (ACRP Report 65—Mead and Hunt et al. 2012). IROPS, by their very nature, are perturbations of normal passenger service that do not perma- nently affect the physical or operational capabilities of an airport but still require action. In a typical IROPS scenario, an incident occurs off the airport site, but the airport has to cope with extra duties caring for stranded passengers—its own and/or others diverted to the airport—in addition to sustain- ing ordinary functions. Today, most Part 139 airports have IROPS plans, and many reliever and general aviation (GA) airports are in the process of developing them. Such specialized plans guide the airport in coping with the extra duties imposed by an IROPS situation or needed to help airlines minimize negative effects on passengers and fulfill their duties under 14 CFR 234 Airline Service Quality Performance Reports. Some airports refer to their IROPS plans as tarmac delay contingency plans. If an incident occurs on the airport and the airport sponsor must manage the incident and its consequences, then it is an emergency. If an incident happens off the airport and the airport operator faces collateral but not direct damage, then it is IROPS. With emergencies, recovery is always an integral component of management. With IROPs, the situation is endured until it ends; recovery may or may not be required. Figure 2 illustrates the relationship among normal operations, IROPS, and recovery. An IROPS situation almost always comes into play at an airport capable of or partially open for normal opera- tions, since the initial incident disrupting flights and the resulting demand to redirect passengers most often occurs at another airport or elsewhere in the National Airspace System (NAS). If an IROPS situation and a full closure of the airport coincide, then it is no longer an IROPS situation; rather, it is a recovery that involves not just taking care of passengers but potentially every aspect of the airport’s operations and facility. For example, on September 26, 2014, a fire at the FAA Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center caused major disruptions at the two major Chicago airports, O’Hare International Airport and Mid- way Airport, which required recovery that would fall within the scope of this study (St. Martin 2014). O’Hare and Midway had to manage the incident and its consequences far more intensively than any other NAS airports. For other airports in the NAS that experienced disruptions, the incident fell under the umbrella of IROPS, and did not require major response and recovery actions.

7 SCOPE OF THIS STUDY This study examines specific actions 37 U.S. airports took to recover from incidents, events, emer- gencies, disasters, and catastrophes that completely or partially closed the airports sufficiently to require recovery. In emergency management terms, either an event or an incident can disrupt normal operations, the distinction being that while an event is planned, an incident is not planned. The focus of this study and the resulting report is on passenger operations, not cargo. Incidents can be further typed by the degree of disruption. “Emergencies” are potential or actual incidents that routine responses can handle. “Disasters” are actual incidents that take extraordi- nary efforts for response but can be addressed effectively by the usual responding (local) agencies. “Catastrophes” are disasters with results so extreme that local response is overwhelmed and long- lasting impacts spread far and wide, for example, the 2011 To¯hoku earthquake and tsunami. Hur- ricane Katrina was widely considered a catastrophe. Hurricane Sandy, on the other hand, is generally seen as a disaster that came very close to being a catastrophe. STUDY METHODOLOGY Selection of Airports The 37 airports were selected based on the researchers’ and the topic panel’s professional experience with and knowledge of the airports. Choices were finalized in consultation with the panel of experts guiding this project. As shown in Table 1, airports from all size and type categories in the National FIGURE 2 Normal operations, IROPS, and recovery. TABLE 1 TYPES AND SIZES OF AIRPORTS IN STUDY NPIAS Category Airports in Study Airports in U.S. Percentage in Study Large Hub Airports 12 301 40.0% Medium Hub Airports 6 331 18.2% Small Hub Airports 4 711 5.6% Non-Hub Primary Airports 6 2501 2.4% Commercial Service Airports (non-primary) 0 1171 0% Total of Service Airports 28 5011 5.6% Reliever Airports 4 2682 1.5% General Aviation Airports (public use airports only) 5 2,5632 0.2% Source: Smith, Kenville, and Sawyer data. 1 FAA. (2014). Preliminary CY13 enplanements. 2 FAA. (2014). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.

8 Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) were selected. Appendix B lists the 37 airports in the study and some of their major characteristics. Cargo airports were not a primary focus of this study, although several very important cargo airports are among the 37 surveyed, because it was decided that passenger operations and the related issues of customer care and communications posed more urgent recovery issues. However, researchers also recognized the great economic importance of cargo airports. While most recovery procedures and lessons learned apply to both passenger and cargo operations, there are some issues that are unique to cargo airports. Literature Review Available literature on topics associated with airport recovery from emergencies and other disruptions was reviewed using both the open web and the deep web (TRB database, ProQuest, EBSCO, Lexis- Nexis, and LLIS). While peer-reviewed literature in the field of airport recovery theory, techniques, and practices is severely limited, an aggressive search strategy on more than 30 topics revealed a num- ber of pertinent documents. Previous ACRP research and synthesis reports form the most comprehen- sive library of research that presently exists on airport issues and provided very useful information for this report. Sources for the incidents themselves are listed in the bibliography following the list of references at the end of this report. Interviews and Data on Responses Interviews using a questionnaire were conducted with the 35 airports proposed in the approved work plan for this study, with a 100% response rate. Two airports were added in the course of the study. The majority of the interviews were conducted as teleconferences; one was conducted in person and two by e-mail. The typical interview lasted 25–35 minutes, with the longest lasting 75 minutes. Most interviews were conducted by one of the three investigators with one manager at an airport. However, interviews regarding more complex incidents, including the four major case examples described in chapters two through five, involved as many as three of the investigators with two to seven officials from the airport. Most of the airports supplied requested documents and/or other evidence discussed in the interviews. Appendix C reproduces the questions used to guide each interview. Figure 3 shows the job titles among the 67 persons interviewed for this study. Typically, at small airports managers serve several roles. For those interviewees, their roles have been apportioned among the categories. It is important to note that five of the 37 airport interviews included members of the topic panel: Mr. Kashani (Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority), Ms. Marshall (San Francisco Interna- tional Airport), Ms. Smalley (Jacksonville Aviation Authority), Mr. Runge (Houston Airport System), and Ms. Yaft (Los Angeles World Airports). The five interviews with panelists were conducted in exactly the same manner as were the others. To provide a case example, the airports identified the one disruptive incident in their recent history that required the greatest effort during recovery. In general, the time frame was limited to incidents occurring after 2004. The 10-year time span was chosen because it began with Hurricane Ivan, a seminal incident which yielded major insights into response and recovery procedures leading to the formation of the Southeast Airports Disaster Operations Group (SEADOG). Information about recovery from other types of incidents was obtained during the interviews and subsequently from reviewing documents provided by the airports. The typology of incidents addressed in this study includes four major categories and 13 subcatego- ries as shown in Table 2; however, only the single most disruptive incident—the primary topic of the interview—is reflected in the table.

9 Case Examples The following criteria were applied to determine four case examples to illustrate post-incident recov- ery efforts: • Quality of the hotwash and after-action review (AAR); • Comprehensiveness of information available about recovery from the incident; • Shortest amount of time elapsed since the incident; • Magnitude of the incident; FIGURE 3 Position titles of interviewees. TABLE 2 TYPOLOGY OF INCIDENTS AND AIRPORTS IDENTIFYING EACH TYPE AS PRIMARY TOPIC FOR INTERVIEW Major Category Subcategory Airport(s) Aircraft Accidents (crashes) On-airport APA, ASE, BJC, BOI, DEN, DVT, HDN, LEX, MEM, OWA, PGA, SFO, SXQ Off-airport ASE, BUF, MTV, OWA Natural Disasters Earthquake IAD Flood LGA, STP, SZP Hurricane JFK, MSY, SAV, GPT Ice storm DFW Tornado JLN, ORK, STL Criminal Acts Shooting IAH, LAX Bomb threat JAX Suspicious behavior ISN System Failures Airfield lighting system BUR Electrical outages EWR Baggage handling systems MCO No Incident Requiring Recovery BOS, MSP Source: Smith, Kenville, and Sawyer data.

10 • Risk of occurrence of that incident subcategory (for natural disasters, criminal acts, and systems failures); • Clarity of lessons learned; • Intensity of efforts to apply and share lessons learned; and • Strength of evaluation methods. Four large hub airports—San Francisco International, Dallas–Fort Worth International, Los Ange- les International, and Newark Liberty International—emerged with optimal real-world scenarios and learning opportunities that could beneficially be applied to similar incidents at small hubs, non-hub primary airports, relievers, and GA airports: • Aircraft accident: The crash of Asiana 214 at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), July 2013 • Natural disaster: The ice storm at Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), December 2013 • Criminal act: The shooting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), November 2013 • Systems failures: Electrical outages at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) following Hurricane Irene (August 2011) and Hurricane Sandy (October 2012). These examples illustrate the complex dynamics of the recovery process, the challenges inherent in planning for unforeseen events, and the need for creativity and strong leadership under duress. The original intent was to provide case studies from all sizes of airports. However, the far greater number of operations at larger airports inevitably led to large-hub airports dominating the consider- ation for case examples. Data Analysis As a result of the interviews and analysis of after-action reports, revised plans, and other documents sup- plied by the 37 airports, 508 discrete recovery procedures were extracted: that is, effective approaches, alternative approaches, identified gaps, necessity for organizational or policy reform, necessity for plan revision, or, more generally, a lesson learned. These procedures were analyzed for common themes and alternative solutions to a given issue, and the data arranged in a spreadsheet which allows isolation of procedures from any airport pertinent to a case example or to the synthesis of effective practices and major lessons learned. Timelines for recovery at each airport were developed. RESULTS Pertinent findings from the interviews, case examples, literature review, and data analysis are pre- sented in three formats: • Case examples from SFO, DFW, LAX, and EWR are presented in chapter two. Following a concise description of each incident and the subsequent response, the recovery process is discussed in detail, using information from interviews, documents provided by the airports, and sources in the literature. Chapter two also presents timelines constructed from information gleaned from interviews, airport documents, and media accounts. • Chapter three presents lessons learned from the interviews and literature organized by topic, and the most effective practices determined by the airports. • A list of Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices for procedures, information, and plan components necessary to develop an effective recovery plan is also introduced in chapter three and presented as Appendix A. Airports of any size or type can follow this list to develop their own unique plans for recovery. Conclusions from the study and suggestions for further research are presented in chapter four.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 60: Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices explores approaches to improving the overall resiliency of airports through planning for the recovery phase of emergency response.

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