Airport Business

MAY 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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AOA MATTERS training may be shared amongst response agencies with the added benefit of having a common response plan and operating picture. A similar approach may be taken to share technology, equipment or training space, thus avoiding duplication where possible. Additionally, sharing resources allows for free exchange of information and experiences between entities to serve the individual and collaborative interests of each organization. Airports are inherently ideal operating environments for fire departments to conduct trainings. By routinely inviting outside agencies inside the airfield fence for training, they become exposed to and familiar with the aspects of response that are unique to an airfield. Mutual aid agencies thus become more familiar with airfield access considerations, driving requirements, hazardous materials and coordination requirements with airport stakeholders. By conducting drills and exercises on an airfield, mutual aid agencies become a part of the airport community with a clearer understanding of what might be needed from them in an emergency. This allows agencies to have a better grasp of what makes an airfield operating environment unique and how response differs from scenarios such as a vehicle collision or a residential structure fire that they may be routinely responding to. Regular hands-on training and exercise are vital to strong mutual aid relationships. Most airports, by way of FAA regulation are required to meet with their partners annually to review emergency response procedures for an aircraft accident. Inclusion of functional drills in an ongoing exercise plan including mutual aid resources do not necessarily need to be taken out of service to participate in drills that allow partners to meet their internal requirement for training and effectively promote collaboration. Financial and personnel resources are often scarce for responders to plan and conduct large exercises. By pooling resources, agencies may plan and conduct training exercises that meet more than a single agenda without heavy resource taxation on any single agency. Consideration should also be given to routinely meeting with mutual aid partners outside of emergency response or training scenarios. Airports, at a minimum are a dynamic and exciting operating environment to visit. Airports may be able to provide meeting space or facilities for training to support mutual aid relations. Relationship building by hosting open houses, airfield tours, communication with tenants, airline partners and introductions to air traffic control tower operations provides an education that directly correlates with successful emergency response in an airfield environment. Local fire departments may benefit from the opportunity to become familiar with the type of aircraft that operate out of their neighboring airfield. Aircraft rescue and firefighting units may choose to invite mutual aid partners to annual live burn training or basic aircraft rescue and firefighting training courses. Establishing personal relationships fosters communication and team building that far exceeds a basic working response relationship. As we often hear in emergency management, the wrong time to exchange business cards is at an emergency scene. In an actual emergency, geographical borders of an airport fence no longer effectively exist. Active engagement and relationship building in advance of an emergency allows for the focus to shift from differences, or simply what one agency needs to how multiple agencies can work together to save lives and property in their jurisdiction. Adequate training, equipment and positive community relationships promote growth and economic opportunity in a municipality. Airports are compelled to identify the capabilities and needs of mutual aid partners for effective engagement. Careful consideration of local resources to pool and share and how training opportunities may create competency and efficiency is essential to resilient partnerships. Establishing relationships with neighbors and engaging in discussion of resources is vital to an airport community before, during and after an emergency. Airports must routinely think outside of the box to promote engagement and a symbiotic relationship with response partners to build airport and community resiliency. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Charity Catalfomo Charity Catalfomo is the Safety and Security Manager at one of the nation's busiest primary non-hub airports. Charity is responsible for emergency planning and works closely with fire, law enforcement, airport operations, local and federal agencies. Her background includes airfield operations and maintenance at a large hub airport and a Master's degree in Emergency Management. Charity Catalfomo May 2018 airportbusiness 41

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