Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S02-17. Preparing Airports for Communicable Diseases on Arriving Flights

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa reinforced the fact that the aviation industry has the potential to function as a vector for the rapid dissemination of infectious disease. Whether considering historic events or more recent events such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Ebola or novel influenzas, there is a threat that the transmission and spread can be accelerated to population centers through the global transportation infrastructure. Government Accounting Office (GAO) Report 16-127 concludes a comprehensive federal plan is needed for United States (US) aviation systems preparedness. Many large domestic and international gateways have plans in place to respond to public health emergencies. However, smaller airports may not be as advanced in their planning. All airports are at risk for receipt of a passenger potentially with a communicable disease and should have an operational plan that addresses: (1) control of the aircraft on the ground, (2) separation, assessment and evaluation of passengers with signs or symptoms of a potential communicable disease; (3) support decision making for quarantine or conditional release of persons exposed; and (4) mitigation, communication, and decontamination so that business can resume. The objective of this research is to compile current experience and effective practices related to aviation communicable disease response. The audiences for this synthesis are airport leadership, Airport Emergency Plan partners, and public health and healthcare officials. The proposed synthesis researches and compiles literature and current practices, to include special emphasis on identified gaps, unresolved issues, common challenges, and novel approaches for communicable disease response to arriving flights. This is not a pandemic influenza focused effort. A concise report resulting from reviewed plans and interviews will include: (1) Clear definition of issue and appropriate governing regulations; (2) Roles and responsibilities of airport, public health, and key stakeholders; (3) Trigger mechanisms/algorithms for response; (4) Defining the step-by-step response process; (5) Monitoring, mitigation and communication strategies; (6) Business continuity and recovery; (7) Case examples (e.g., Port Authority of New York & New Jersey [PANYNJ], Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority [MWAA], Omaha Airport Authority [OMA], DeKalb-Peachtree Airport [PDK], Dallas Fort Worth International Airport [DFW], Los Angeles International Airport [LAX], Toronto Pearson International Airport [YYZ]); and (8) Appendix materials useful to developing plans and responses.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S03-12

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Staba, Gail

  • Principal Investigators:

    Smith, James

  • Start Date: 20160525
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41414

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01624856
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S03-12
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 2 2017 9:21AM