Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S04-24. Practices in Airport Emergency Plans

While 14 CFR Part 139, Certification of Airports, and FAA Advisory Circular 150/5200-31C, Airport Emergency Plan (AEP), establishes standards, functional sections and hazards required in AEPs, the depth and format of AEPs varies across airports in the US. While all certificated airports’ AEPs conform to the regulation and follow the implementing advisory circular, some airports enhance their emergency planning by expanding functional sections and/or referencing other stand-alone plans not fully reviewed by FAA but developed to guide emergency responders. While not required, some non-certificated airports follow guidance and develop AEPs, or some variation that have a different structure, to guide emergency response. ACRP has developed an AEP template that will be housed in the cloud and linked to the FAA website. This tool automates AC 150/5200-31C and is expected to be online in Fall 2019. There are many documents outside of an approved AEP that airports use as actionable plans and training tools for emergency response. This may indicate that there are challenges with the sufficiency of AEPs to be effective stand-alone response documents. Airports generate other documents outside of their AEPs to make them actionable, potentially putting the airport in jeopardy with FAA approvals. Many airports are unwilling to expand AEPs to be actionable and trainable, and instead keep them very general. This tactic lessens the perception that an inspector will find differences between the AEP and actual response, leading to potential enforcement action by FAA. It would be useful to understand the challenges that airports face when developing, revising and using their AEPs for emergency response and recovery. The objectives of the synthesis are: [1] to identify the issues, challenges and work-arounds experienced by airport managers with AEPs as useful and actionable documents; and [2] understand FAA inspectors’ perspective with how AEPs ameliorate risks and guide emergency response actions. The audience for this report are the airport community, FAA, and stakeholders. Research to develop a concise synthesis of airport practice shall include the following: (1) Literature review; (2) Interview of airport staff responsible for AEP development and maintenance to document information related to (representative of airport size, governance, certificated/non-certificated, regional diversity); (3) Interview of FAA inspectors to document information related to: Training-how is the AEP used for training, training formats and how often training is conducted; Perceptions of the AEP review experience-e.g., what are the most frequently experienced deficiencies identified during AEP review and post incident; Issues, challenges and opportunities, effective practices; and How do you think about or handle plans that are more extensive than basic required; (4) Effective practices, conclusions, knowledge gaps identified for further research.


  • English


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

    Project 11-03, Topic S04-24

  • 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

  • Performing Organizations:

    Tidal Basin Group, LLC

    Alexandria, VA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Murphy, Stephanie

  • Start Date: 20190630
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01687063
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S04-24
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 26 2018 3:04PM