Airports and Family Assistance After an Aviation Accident

Airports dedicate substantial resources preparing and training for potential aviation incidents and accidents at or near their facilities. While the immediate focus of every airport after an incident or accident is on the preservation of life and the protection of property, these events have complex ramifications for the airport in terms of the meeting the needs of both survivors and the families of victims, coordinating dissemination of information about the incident, and basic facility management. In an accident resulting in a loss of life, domestic and foreign airlines are federally mandated, under the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996 (49 United States Code (USC) § 41113; 49 USC § 41313), to immediately implement specific requirements as part of a formally developed, comprehensive Family Assistance Plan. However, implementation of these plans, which can involve dispatching specially trained "go teams" and the mobilization of external resources, can take hours to achieve. As a result, airport operators almost always serve as the immediate "first responders" that need to deal with not only with emergency response, but also family assistance, survivor assistance, media relations and crowd control. Research is needed to help airports develop best practices and establish procedures and training around non-emergency response to an aviation accident, including complementing the federally mandated airline response. Providing these practices and procedures will help airports respond in a more comprehensive way to an aviation accident, ultimately benefiting the victims, family members and others impacted by the accident. The objective of this research is to identify how airports can first-respond best when families need assistance, including training and implementation guides.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $300000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 06-03

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Start Date: 20141113
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37570

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543419
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 06-03
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 14 2014 1:01AM