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10 History and Development of the Airport Emergency Plan This chapter includes the history and background of the airport emergency plan (AEP). Here the synthesis team provides the foundation for why airports need to have an AEP, regulatory requirements of the AEP, and elements that are included in an AEP. History of the Airport Emergency Plan On August 2, 1985, Delta Flight 191 crashed on approach to Runway 17L after experienc- ing microburst winds at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The crash resulted in significant changes across the aviation industry, including the requirements for emergency planning at airports. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation identified multiple challenges with the response to the crash and subsequently released Safety Recom- mendation A-86-090 on September 3, 1986. The recommendation identified improvements to notification procedures, reviews of emergency plans with stakeholders and mutual aid responders, and a recommendation for airports to hold a full-scale exercise every 24 months. In 1989, AC 150/5200-31 was released by the FAA, partially in response to NTSBâs Safety Recommendation A-86-090. This required certain 14 CFR, part 139, airports to maintain an AEP, meeting specific requirements, especially related to communication and notification procedures. In addition, airports were required to conduct an annual review of the plan and a full-scale exercise every consecutive 36 months (NTSB 1986). Ten years later, the updated AC 150/5200-31A was released by the FAA in June 1999. The AC referred to the four phases of the Federal Emergency Management Agencyâs (FEMAâs) concept of comprehensive emergency management (CEM): (1) mitigation, (2) preparedness, (3) response, and (4) recovery. The AC also discussed responsibilities of government leaders under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 93-288, also known as the âStafford Act.â The Stafford Act indicated that local governments were responsible for protecting people and property at airports under their jurisdiction during emergency situations. However, the AC stopped short of requiring a CEM program, continuing to focus exclusively on response operations. âThe AEP does not need to reflect all four phases of CEM. Rather, its focus should be mainly on response and initial recovery issues. Detailed Miti- gation Plans, Administrative Plans, or Recovery Plans can be handled separatelyâ (FAA 1999). The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had a substantial impact on airports and the entirety of the first responder and EM community. The most significant of these impacts was the release of the National Response Plan (NRP) in 2004, later replaced by the National Response Framework (NRF) in 2008. The NRP would transform the way responders plan, communicate, and coordinate with each other. The NRP included the introduction of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the related Incident Command System (ICS). C H A P T E R 2
History and Development of the Airport Emergency Plan 11 In response, AC 150/5200-31B was released in March 2009 and was quickly replaced by version C in June of the same year. The most notable change in the updated AC was the inclusion of the NRF and NIMS. The AC indicated AEPs needed to inte- grate NIMS into an airportâs command and control structure, including the use of an emergency operations center (EOC) for coordinating the response. The introduction of NIMS in the AC 150/5200-31C (2009) brought airport response in line with the standardized structure used by public safety entities throughout the United States. As with superseded versions, the AC continued to stop short of requiring a comprehensive emergency plan focused on all phases of disaster. Present day (2020), AEPs continue to adhere to the most current 2009 version of the AC and follow the template set forth by the AC. The airportâs FAA inspector prior to changes being made must approve variances to the template. The core of current AEP requirements continues to include many of the facets outlined in the original 1989 AC. These facets include command and control, communications, alert and warning, public information, protective actions, law enforcement, fire and rescue, health and medical, resource management, and operations and maintenance. Procedures for each are outlined in their respective functional annexes in the plan. In addition, annexes outline the response to specific hazards, based on hazards identified in the airportâs hazard analysis. Airports also continue to adhere to the requirement of conducting a comprehensive review of the plan once per year and a full-scale exercise every 36 consecutive months. Requirements for Airport Emergency Plan Development Maintaining an AEP is required for all airports holding an FAA 14 CFR, part 139, operating certificate. Airports classified as âpart 139â airports include any airport in the United States with scheduled passenger service of aircraft carrying nine passengers or greater or unscheduled passenger service of aircraft carrying 31 passengers or greater (Federal Aviation Administration 2013). The AEP is developed in coordination with airport tenants and stakeholders, public safety and EM organizations, and other government and community organizations with a stake in the plan. Airports are required to review the plan internally and externally with organizations with responsibilities in the plan, once per year. A tabletop exercise (TTX) is often used as a tool in this review. In addition, all Class I, II, III, and IV airports are expected to conduct a full-scale exercise of the AEP no later than once every 36 consecutive months. Class I, II, and IV airports are those that currently hold part 139 Airport Operating Certificates (AOCs). Class III are those airports that will be newly certified. As previously discussed, development of the AEP is guided by AC 150/5200-31C. The following is a brief overview of the AC and its recommen- dations for AEP development. The AC begins with a brief introduction, discussing the purpose of the AEP. It also includes information on format and organization, an overview of determining hazards, and a note on the importance of collaboration with local stakeholders. The application of the AC and a summary of changes from the 1999 version are also included. This is followed by a brief first chapter, Chapter 1: The Airport Emergency, which provides an overview of emergencies at airports in general. ARFF supports airport emergency exercise, CLT Source: Michael Tobin, CLT
12 Practices in Airport Emergency Plans Chapter 2 of the AC relates AEPs to the larger EM and public safety community. This section addresses mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities and reminds users of the importance of a collaborative approach to emergency planning. It also discusses the Stafford Act, NRF, and other related policies. Chapter 2 highlights the importance of using the ICS, especially when coordinating response efforts with outside agencies. This is laid out in detail in Chapter 6-1-1, Command and Control. As mentioned previously, the AC describes the components of a comprehensive EM program, but reiterates the AEP is focused specifically on response and short-term recovery. An overview of the plan development processes is included in Chapter 3, with six primary steps: 1. Review other related plans. 2. Form a planning team. 3. Do research. 4. Develop the plan. 5. Validate the plan. 6. Train, then complete drills and exercise. There are three steps that occur prior to the development of the plan. A review of other plans, AARs, and special facets of the airport indicate the level of work already completed and provide background on hazards and vulnerabilities. The remainder of the AC acts as a template or a guide for the format of the AEP. Chapter 4 states, âThe FAA does not man- date a particular format. However, for airports certificated under 14 CFR, part 139, the FAA recommends the use of the guidance in this publicationâ (Federal Aviation Administra- tion 2009). While the exact format may not be mandatory, following their recommended format ensures airports meet all the requirements. Airports may deviate from the recommen- dation, but it must be reviewed and approved by the FAA to ensure all requirements of the AC are being met. The FAAâs format of the AEP consists of four major chapters: Basic Plan, Functional Annexes, Hazard-Specific Sections, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Checklists. The Basic Plan provides the general overview, including purpose, assumptions, and responsibilities. The functional annexes are the âhow toâ of the document. They include activities such as command and control, communications, alert and warning, and other task-based information. The hazard-specific annexes are developed to address response to certain hazards which may need detailed guidance or may be required as a result of regulatory considerations. SOPs and checklists will be associated with each hazard in the hazard-specific section. Sections of the Basic Plan include the following: 1. Introduction 2. Introductory Information 3. Purpose 4. Situation and Assumptions 5. Operations 6. Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities ARFF apparatus puts out a fire during a part 139 full-scale exercise, CLT Source: Michael Tobin, CLT
History and Development of the Airport Emergency Plan 13 7. Administration and Logistics 8. Plan Development and Maintenance 9. Authorities and References The first three sections of the Basic Plan provide overall administrative and general information. Section 4, Situa- tion and Assumptions, begins looking at the hazards being addressed and scope of the plan while Section 5, Operations, provides the overall concept of operations for responding to incidents that may affect the airport and community. Section 6, Organization and Assignment of Responsibil- ities, displays information to support emergency response actions. The FAA has identified 10 specific functions, or capabilities, the airport must be able to demonstrate (Com- munications, Direction and Control, Alert and Warning, Emergency Public Information, Protective Actions, Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Health and Medical, Operations and Maintenance, and Resource Management). In addition, an organization(s) must be assigned responsibility for each function (See Figure 1). Section 6 of the Basic Plan lists each organization and their associated responsibilities. A matrix may be included as well, showing the relationship of the organization to the function. Chapter 7 of the AC explains in detail how the 10 functions should be represented in the functional annexes of the AEP. Logistics, resource management, and finance are all located in Section 7 of the Basic Plan. Policies for requesting and using resources and related documen- tation should be included in this location. The Basic Plan then wraps up with a description of how the plan will be maintained, training and exercise requirements, and any references included. Functional annexes include the following: â¢ Section 1. Command and ControlâStructure for overall management of the event. Utilizes the ICS (Title 49 CFR Â§1542). â¢ Section 2. CommunicationsâIncludes all manners of communication for event, including equipment, policies, and procedures. â¢ Section 3. Alert Notification and WarningâNotification and status updates of an event to employees, stakeholders, partner organizations and mutual aid, and the public. â¢ Section 4. Emergency Public InformationâInformation dissemination to the public, including media and social media. Utilizes the Joint Information System. â¢ Section 5. Protective ActionsâActions to ensure life safety and protection of property. Include evacuation and shelter-in-place. â¢ Section 6. Law Enforcement/SecurityâLaw enforcement response. Coordinated with Air- port Security Program, as required by Title 49 CFR Â§1542.307, Airport Security (Title 49 CFR Â§1542.307). â¢ Section 7. Firefighting and RescueâIncludes aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF), struc- tural fire, rescue situations, and hazardous materials incidents. Must meet requirements of Title 14 CFR Â§Â§139.315-319, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting: Index Determination. â¢ Section 8. Health and MedicalâEmergency medical services (EMS), public health, envi- ronmental health, mental health, and mortuary services. â¢ Section 9. Resource ManagementâLogistics, equipment, and supplies. â¢ Section 10. Airport Operations and MaintenanceâGeneral oversight and management of airport functions and personnel. U.S. Air Force joins a part 139 full-scale exercise, CLT Source: Michael Tobin, CLT
14 Practices in Airport Emergency Plans Additional possible functions suggested by the FAA include damage assessment; search and rescue; mitigation and recovery; mass care; and CBRNE protection. Plans identified during the research phase of the planning process should be referenced during the development of the functional annexes. The structure for functional annexes mirrors that of the Basic Plan, minus the introductory portion. Sections include a) Purpose, b) Situation and Assumptions, c) Operations, d) Organiza- tion and Assignment of Responsibilities, e) Administration and Logistics, f ) Plan Development and Maintenance, and g) References and Authorities. Chapter 7 outlines Hazard Annexes and Checklists for nine hazards required to be included. The format for these is outlined in the AC. These annexes include the same sections as the functional annexes, but also add sections for innovative planning considerations, SOPs, and Checklists. Examples of functional SOPs and Checklists are included in the appendices of the AC. Often, these can be used as templates for developing their respective documents. Hazard annexes include the following: a. Aircraft incidents and accidents b. Bomb incidents, including designated parking areas for the aircraft involved c. Structural fires d. Fires at fuel farms or fuel storage areas e. Natural disasters Figure 1. Emergency response organization responsibility matrix. (Source: Federal Aviation Administration, 2009)
History and Development of the Airport Emergency Plan 15 f. Hazardous materials/dangerous goods incidents g. Sabotage, hijack incidents, and other unlawful interference with operations h. Failure of power for movement area lighting i. Water rescue situations, as appropriate An annex for Crowd Control has been added to the AC, although it is not noted as a required annex. It is important to note that two annexes, (b) Bomb Incidents/Terrorism and (g) Sabotage, Hijack Incidents, and Other Unlawful Interference with Operations are considered sensitive security information (SSI) and need be handled accordingly. Some airports will keep these annexes as documents separate from the AEP. The structure of the AEP and its associated sections can be seen in Figure 2. Figure 2. Airport emergency plan structure (SOPs = standard operating procedures and ARFF = aircraft rescue and firefighting). (Source: Federal Aviation Administration, 2009)