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The Federal Aviation Administration's 14 CFR Part 139 regulations, which form the basis for the creation of the Airport Emergency Plan (AEP), have specific criteria for the AEP that differ from the ARFF policies, which are determined by the strategic and tactical operations. (STO). This distinction causes duplication of emergency control activities, which increases management costs and creates a problem for the Airports Authority. When these regulatory components are coordinated, airline industry problems can be handled successfully.
The primary issue revealed by the case study is the distinction between the current procedures and demands of AEP and ARFF-STO. Although both frameworks aim at management disasters and emergencies at the airport, they are implemented independently during emergency response (Jaffe, Abramovich, Mohadeb, & Sonkin, 2017). This can cause poor implementation which may affect the overall outcome of the management activities.
Significance of problem
The key significance of this problem is the fact that airport emergency planning is an essential management system that must be holistic in nature in order to include both proactive and reactive control measures within the airport and its environment. The AEP constitutes various activities including command and control, alert notification and warning, protective actions, health and medical services, airport operations and maintenance, and firefighting rescue (Federation Aviation Administration, 2017). Since STO protocols have provisions for similar AEP programs such as firefighting rescue and alert notification, lack of proper coordination may affect effective control and management of the airport emergency incidence as a result of poor management structures and duplication of efforts.
Alternative Action 1. Embrace a holistic approach to emergency planning and management; this should involve integrating both AEP and ARFF requirements into a single management system (Federation Aviation Administration, 2017).
Advantage: The holistic approach can result in solid decisions due to widely shared ideas from different stakeholders. Concrete decisions are significant in emergencies as they reduce risk exposure among victims.
Advantage: Increased workforce during emergency operations; both AEP and ARFF teams will get together to help in the management processes such as evacuation and dissemination of information (Federation Aviation Administration, 2017).
Disadvantage: This system will require a lot of time for operations since both departments will have to review and discuss their decisions before taking any action. Since emergency responses require quick actions, the efficiency of the airport emergency department may be compromised.
Disadvantage: The will be delayed decision making due to the consultation processes. AEP team must work in collaboration with the ARFF before taking any actions (Kazda & Caves, 2010). This can result in poor emergency control and management, thus, increasing fatalities during disasters.
Alternative Action 2. AEP to work independently of the ARFF protocols; this will mean that AEP plans do not consider any of the protocols provided in the STO.
Advantage: Increased response as well as well coordinated responsibilities. With every department head in the emergency department, the AEP team can easily work together to ensure response activities are done in time (Kazda & Caves, 2010).
Advantage: Increased efficiency in the emergency operation services due to reduced protocols to follow. Since there are no additional tactical and operational protocols to consider, the AEP team is able to follow the existing guidelines easily.
Disadvantage: Due to lack of detailed AEP and ARFF operation structures in place, the Federation Aviation Administration may question an airline industry for not fully adhering to the emergency requirements (Kazda & Caves, 2010).
Disadvantage: There may be increased risk in cases where operational or tactical protocols are necessary. If the AEP team does not have information on these requirements, they might be hindered from performing an emergency action.
Enhanced collaboration between ARFF and AEP teams through the use of existing technologies and communication systems. The best way of enhancing collaboration among different stakeholders and integrating protocols and standards is by reviewing the existing regulatory agencies and standard bodies’ data standards to conform in order to avoid any possible conflicts (PARAS, 2003). The FAA currently has its own airport’s Geographical Information System (GIS) that helps in the maintenance of aeronautical data that can be used for emergency planning.
Federation Aviation Administration. (2017). Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Airports (ARFF). Retrieved from https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/aircraft_rescue_fire_fighting/
Jaffe, E., Abramovich, I., Mohadeb, S., & Sonkin, R. (2017). Airport Aviation Disaster Patient Transfer Point Lifesaving Enhancement. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 32(S1), S23-S24.
Kazda, A., & Caves, R. E. (Eds.). (2010). Airport design and operation. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
PARAS. (2003). Enhancing Communication & Collaboration among Airport Stakeholders. Program for Applied Research in Airport Security. Retrieved from https://www.sskies.org/images/uploads/subpage/PARAS_0003.C2Guidebook.FinalReport.pdf
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