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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25714.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25714.
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1 Background and Objectives The overall objective of the ACRP Project 11-03/Topic S01-19 was to learn the status of airports using risk management tools and processes by conducting a 10- to 15-minute electronic survey of various size airports and further analyze selected airports by conducting in-depth interviews. Major Findings of the Synthesis The major findings of the synthesis—validated by the quantitative and qualitative results—indicate airports are using tools that help them identify risks within their environment. Most airports are providing a means to report risk. Smaller airports use low-cost options such as email, a 24/7 phone number, or a suggestion box. Larger air- ports have embraced safety management or enterprise risk management programs that include more expensive reporting and tracking systems. All sizes of airports see the need to inform stakeholders of the efforts to identify and reduce risk, which assists in buy-in as well as ensuring upper management is briefed on the organizational performance of the airport. Airports continue to seek practical, commonsense solutions. Airports struggle with tools and documented processes for tracking risk, knowing when risk assessments must be done, following up with residual risk, and developing performance indicators that work for their airport. While larger airports are using or developing their safety management system (SMS) or enterprise risk management (ERM) programs, this does not preclude these areas also being an area of improvement for larger airports that have functioning SMS or ERM programs. Methodology The synthesis methodology includes a literature review using available ACRP studies, FAA documentation and pilot study reports, and governmental publications to create a historical summary of risk management, which gained much momentum from the armed forces. Concurrently, a short 10- to 15-minute survey was developed and approved by the ACRP panel to be administered to a select number of airports of various sizes through- out the United States. The survey provided both quantitative and qualitative data that was analyzed, and key themes were summarized from the data. In addition to the survey, five airports of various sizes were selected to participate in a more in-depth review of current risk management tools and processes in use. S U M M A R Y Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices

2 Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices Major Conclusions and Research Suggestions Although risk management tools and processes are available, the effectiveness of risk management is not determined by a tool or process. The effectiveness is determined by how a tool or process “fits” or “works”’ within the system. One size does not fit all. Each airport needs tools and processes tailored for its operation. As identified by Figure 1, airports recognize many risks beyond the traditional area of safety. Risk, which can be a consequence or an opportunity, for airports also includes the following: critical infrastructure, environmental, financial, information technology, legal/reputational, operational, regulatory, security, sociopolitical, and strategic considerations. Airports, hav- ing limited resources, have focused on keeping risk management simple and as practicable as possible. Airports have been resourceful in using existing processes and services, such as risk reporting by email and getting insurance companies to conduct risk audits. In general terms, regardless of airport classification, all survey participants seemed satisfied with the risk management methods they are using, whether that is reflected in their use of an enterprise risk management software package or a common airport advisory circular for construction safety. While airports are reporting risk and communicating with stakeholders and airport managers, they are also struggling with determining when they should do a risk assessment (RA), what prompts they should develop to trigger a risk assessment, and how to validate residual risk. There is a need for guidance and risk management training that helps airport personnel identify why tools and processes are needed and how to develop risk management for the various aspects of an airport. The AAAE and the ACI-NA have developed a member hub digest that allows members to message other airports to ask questions, share risk manage- ment tools and processes, and create a continuous dialogue on best practices and lessons learned. Outside entities that provide audits, such as insurance companies and the Occu- pational Safety and Health Administration, and Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 139 FAA inspections already exist and may be brought to bear as risk manage- ment tools to help airports. With improved guidance, airports can better understand how these existing tools fit into an SMS or ERM. This guidance will allow airports to explore, learn, and be trained in the practice of risk management implementation within an environ- ment where similarly sized airports can learn from one another. Figure 1. Areas of risk recognized.

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Airports are using tools that help them identify risks within their environment. Most airports are providing a means to report risk. Smaller airports use low-cost options such as email, a 24/7 phone number, or a suggestion box. Larger airports have embraced safety management or enterprise risk management programs that include more expensive reporting and tracking systems.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Synthesis 106: Airport Risk Identification and Prioritization Practices provides information about the existing tools that airports use for identifying common hazards and the processes used for measuring, monitoring, and prioritizing the associated risks.

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