National Academies Press: OpenBook

Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices (2015)

Chapter: Chapter Four - Conclusions and Suggestions for Further Research

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Page 49
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - Conclusions and Suggestions for Further Research ." 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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Page 49

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50 Analysis of the data in this report yielded the following major conclusions: 1. There has been a major cultural shift among airports. In the interviews and documents, airports appear much more willing to share their detailed after-action review results and lessons learned. 2. Greater clarity is required in statements referring to an airport’s being “closed” or “open,” and greater control is necessary over who and how such statements are made. 3. The keys to a successful recovery are awareness, flexibility, and planning. 4. Relationships—among airport departments, between airports and their mutual aid partners, and between airports and other stakeholders—are essential to effective recovery, and relationships can be built in advance with a purpose, which is effective response and recovery. 5. Risk-based and fact-based advance planning support successful recovery. 6. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) provide sound guidelines for airport response and recovery efforts. 7. Airports require, and are requesting, more training on NIMS, ICS, and Unified Command (UC). 8. A UC, typically inside the airport Emergency Operations Center (EOC) if the airport has one, is the most effective means of command and control of recovery activities, at least during the early complex stages. 9. Airports that have and use comprehensive crisis communications plans find them indispens- able during both response and recovery, and incorporate real-world experience into their plans. Airports without such plans want to develop them. 10. The speed of an airport’s return to normal operations is a key aspect of the perceived level of success of a recovery. There is no industry-wide accepted definition of a successful recovery and no metrics currently exist to quantify success in recovery. 11. The perceived level of success or failure of an airport’s recovery impacts the airport’s public image and standing in the community. Further research is suggested in 11 areas, listed in descending order of importance: • Comprehensive crisis communications planning and implementation • Airport family assistance planning • Further development of common operating picture systems, especially as applicable to recovery and after-action reviews • Use of and commitment to NIMS and ICS in recovery efforts • Commitment to use of airport EOC in recovery efforts, including ways to improve integration of other partners in the EOC, NIMS, and ICS during recovery • EOCs or EOC alternatives for resource-constrained airports • Collection of data on specific elements, processes, stages, and phases of recovery, and associated terminology and concepts • A complementary study that integrates lessons learned from this report, but focuses on airports that primarily serve cargo or are major cargo hubs • Creation of a template for recovery plans, with the template scalable to serve airports of all types and sizes • Airport-specific NIMS and ICS forms and checklists to guide recovery efforts • Metrics and other methods for self-evaluating recovery procedures and plans, ideally associated with a template for recovery plans. chapter four CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

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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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