Is your airport ready for an emergency?  Airports vary widely in size and complexity; from small general aviation airports, to mid-size regional airports, to large-hub airports.  However, they all have one thing in common, the potential for emergencies.  An airport emergency is defined as; any occasion or instance, natural or man-made, that warrants action to save lives and protect property and public health.  All FAR 139 Certificated Airports are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to develop and maintain an “Airport Emergency Plan” (AEP).

There are specific hazards within the AEP that must be planned out; aircraft incidents and accidents, terrorism incidents, structural fires, fuel farm and fuel storage area fires, natural disasters, hazardous materials incidents, failure of power for movement area lighting, water rescues, and crowd control.  The FAA requires an AEP review and table-top exercise yearly and a full-scale emergency exercise every three years. There are many parties and agencies that are involved in the creation and execution of the AEP; from the airport manager to ARFF crews, emergency coordinators to security/police agencies, air carriers to air traffic control, FAA, FBI and NTSB.

Large-scale airport emergencies are not an everyday occurrence, but when they happen they’re usually the big one!  Off airport mutual aid responders may not remember important access points, staging areas, and evacuation routes.  Make access to pre-planned buildings, aircraft hangars, fuel farms, and aircraft crash charts available to all your responders.  With a cloud-based pre planning system like Blazemark you can easily share your pre plans with all parties involved in your AEP; either before, during, or after an incident has occurred. From large aircraft incidents and active shooter situations, to fires and natural disasters, having crucial data when you need it can greatly assist you in mitigating these incidents.  Use Blazemark NFPA 1620 compliant software for pre-incident planning as a training tool, as a live incident data source, or as a reference guide for post-emergency investigations.  For more information on Airport Emergency Plan reference AC 150/5200-31C – Airport Emergency Plan

Randy Berger has been in emergency services for over 30 years as a volunteer and career firefighter. Randy currently works as an Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Captain at a regional airport in New Jersey and is currently the Chief of the Upper Makefield Fire Department in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Randy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and is currently a Pre-Incident Planning Specialist with Fire Planning Associates.