National Academies Press: OpenBook

Model Mutual Aid Agreements for Airports (2013)

Chapter:Chapter One - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Model Mutual Aid Agreements for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22542.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Model Mutual Aid Agreements for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22542.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Model Mutual Aid Agreements for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22542.

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2 Establishing mutual aid relationships and agreements between airports and surrounding communities is necessary for building both airport and community resilience and ensur- ing emer gency preparedness, effective emergency response, and continuity of operations. Such agreements are primarily linked to the response phase of emergency management, but they are a crucial element of successful emergency opera- tions planning, and can also aid in the mitigation and recovery phases of emergency management. This synthesis chronicles the current practices concerning mutual aid agreements among airports of all types and sizes. This study provides airport operators with information on: • The basis for a mutual aid agreement/plan • Identification of typical partners • Number of mutual aid agreements/plans an airport typi- cally enters into with other parties • Whether an agreement/plan is written or unwritten • Typical emergency types considered in an agreement/plan • Benefits of local mutual aid agreements/plans • Desirable elements in a mutual aid agreement • Needs and capabilities (e.g., equipment and personnel) • Effective practices (timing goals for delivering assistance, developing deployment teams, implementing communi- cation protocols, obtaining reimbursement, training and exercising to sustain readiness, etc.) • Ambiguities of interest and/or concern • Lessons learned. This study is limited to one-to-one agreements between an airport and non-airport partners for emergency response, to multilateral (countywide or regional) mutual aid agreements or compacts, and to statewide emergency management agree- ments, compacts, or pools. The study does not include multi- state regional mutual aid agreements such as airport disaster operations groups (e.g., the Southeast Airports Disaster Operations Group and Western Airports Disaster Operations Group) or the Emergency Management Assistance Com- pact (EMAC), which are largely outlined in ACRP Report 73: Airport-to-Airport Mutual Aid Programs. DEFINITION OF A MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT As will be seen in the literature review in chapter two, there are several definitions of “mutual aid agreement.” For the purposes of this study, A mutual aid agreement is a voluntary, non-contractual arrange- ment to provide short-term emergency or disaster assistance between two or more entities. It typically does not involve pay- ment, reimbursement, liability, or mandatory responses. The operative concepts in this definition are “mutual” and “voluntary.” Moreover, “short-term” usually refers to the first operational period in the response, typically no more than eight or 12 hours. Traditionally—that is, prior to the issuance of FAA Advisory 150/5200-31C (FAA 2009a)—airport aid agreements were rarely mutual. Instead, they provided for aid from outside agencies to airports but hardly ever considered the recipro- cal case where an airport would provide aid in a non-aviation disaster off the airport. This lack of full mutuality was partially a reaction to lawsuits and regulatory actions that outlawed rev- enue diversion by airports [Florida Department of Transporta- tion (DOT) n. d.]. The extent of mutuality has also been limited in the case of any FAR Part 139 certified airport to preclude the airport’s falling below the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Righting (ARFF) Index if equipment is send off the airport. STUDY METHODOLOGY This study was completed using a combination of literature review, a survey of selected airports, and five case examples. The results of the literature review are presented in chapter two and were used to select the airports to be surveyed. Survey Thirty-four (34) airports were selected by the researchers in consultation with the Topic Panel. Airports were chosen on the basis of the professional knowledge of the two research- ers to provide a broad representation of current practices regarding mutual aid agreements, both written and unwrit- ten. In addition, the airports were chosen based on likelihood of response. Executives at the 34 airports were invited by e-mail to par- ticipate in the survey; 31 airports responded, and one additional airport sent an unsolicited complete survey, which was included in the analysis. This brought the total number of airports in the synthesis to 32 (a 94% response rate). As shown in Figure 1, airports of all types and sizes—large hubs, medium hubs, small hubs, non-hub commercial service, reliever airports, and general aviation (GA) airports—were chapter one INTRODUCTION

3 included in the survey sample. Table 1 puts the samples in the context of the total number of airports in each category. Appendix B lists the airports that participated in the study and shows their National Plan of Integrated Air Systems (NPIAS) classifications. Merrill Field in Anchorage, Alaska, is included among the reliever airports. It is a commercial service airport but not a primary airport, not having scheduled service by planes with 10 or more seats (FAA 2010b; Anchorage 2012), and there- fore is not subject to FAR Part 139 requirements. Five case examples were derived from the 32 airports that completed the initial survey, including two large hubs, a medium hub, five non-hub primaries, two reliever airports, and one GA airport. (Some case examples included more than one airport.) Table 2 shows the geographical distribution of the study airports; responses were received from 18 states in all regions of the United States except Hawaii. The responses from six state-owned non-hub primary air- ports in Alaska were counted as one response. The two reliever airports overseen by Minneapolis–St. Paul Metropolitan Air- port Commission (MAC) were counted as two responses, one being the unsolicited airport; the two MAC airports are suf- ficiently different to justify not aggregating them. FIGURE 1 NPIAS categories of study airports (FAA 2011). Source: Survey results. TABLE 1 PUTTING SURVEY AIRPORTS INTO CONTEXT AMONG ALL AIRPORTS IN THEIR SIZE CATEGORIES

4 Case Examples The survey responses were reviewed in the context of the approved work plan to select five case examples represent- ing airports with no written mutual aid agreements (Case Example 1—five airports in Alaska; Case Example 2—two airports in Minneapolis–St. Paul), with countywide and Alaska 3 Michigan 1 Arizona 1 Minnesota 3 California 3 Mississippi 1 Colorado 2 North Dakota 3 Florida 2 Ohio 1 Idaho 1 Rhode Island 1 Illinois 2 Texas 4 Louisiana 1 Utah 1 Massachusetts 1 Virginia 1 Source: Survey results. TABLE 2 SURVEY RESPONSES BY STATES regional agreements in place (Case Example 3—two airports in Chicago; Case Example 4—Salt Lake City International Airport), and with statewide mutual aid compacts in place (Case Example 5—Hammond Northshore Regional Airport in Louisiana). None of the case examples has only agreements between an airport and a single partner, but case examples 4 and 5 do include such one-to-one mutual aid agreements. Although the work plan anticipated follow-up questions of the case example airports, this became unnecessary, as those airports volunteered needed supplemental information in e-mails as well as notes in their survey responses. DATA ANALYSIS Survey data were organized and analyzed using graphical analysis and thematic content analysis (qualitative analy- sis). Results are shown in Figures 2 through 9 and Tables 3 through 12, and the data analysis is discussed in chapters three through five. Quantitative statistical analysis was not pursued owing to the relatively small sample size, lack of randomization, and large number of open-ended answers.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 45: Model Mutual Aid Agreements for Airports presents information on mutual aid agreements, addressing nearly every type of emergency that could affect airports and require outside resources. The report is designed to assist airport operators in creating and sustaining effective emergency management mutual aid partnerships by documenting the specifics of existing agreements.

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