The National Academies

ACRP 11-02/Task 05 [Completed]

Quarantine Facilities for Arriving Air Travelers: Identification of Planning Needs and Costs
[ ACRP 11-02 (Quick Response for Special Needs) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $50,005
Research Agency: TriData, A Division of System Planning Corporation
Principal Investigator: Hollis Stambaugh
Effective Date: 3/1/2007
Completion Date: 12/1/2007

With the prospect of a worldwide outbreak of a new or emerging disease, public health authorities have revived disease control concepts such as quarantine (segregating individuals who may have been exposed to an infections disease but who are not yet ill.) Quarantine historically has focused on ports of entry, which in today's world means airports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sponsored a series of tabletop exercises at airports in which one of the key issues was whether suitable facilities existed on airport property to accommodate several hundred people for days or even weeks. The CDC's proposed rule, issued in November 2005, calls for airports to identify such facilities as part of their pandemic preparedness. [The National Strategy for Pandemic Preparedness Implementation Strategy (May 2006) similarly includes]. However, to date there has been no discussion of what types of facilities might be necessary and appropriate, whether such facilities can or should be located on airport property, whether other, existing facilities could be adapted for this purpose or new facilities could serve multiple uses, and who should bear the cost of providing and maintaining these facilities. There is also a need to develop guidelines for airports to maintain continuity of operations if airport employees (maybe up to 30%) do not come to work because they are either sick or concerned about coming in contact with sick individuals.

The objective of this task was to develop a set of criteria and guidance for use by airport operators in identifying potential quarantine facilities on or off the airport and for continuity of airport operations. The guidance was developed in consideration of and based on evaluation of requirements and constraints, including such factors as: (a) physical needs of individuals to be quarantined (e.g. beds, sanitation, security, food); (b) non-airport resources available to provide basic necessities (e.g. Red Cross); (c) structural requirements for such facilities (square footage, climate control, plumbing, etc.); (d) transportation from aircraft to facility; (e) potential existing facilities at airports or in community, including those identified in other plans (e.g. hurricane shelters, family assistance sites, etc.); (f) potential for multiple use for new facilities; (g) operational and financial impacts of identifying on-airport facilities; and (h) planning guidelines for expected maximum number of individuals to be quarantined.

Status:  Completed.  This task was published as ACRP Report 5 and can be found at this URL https://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=9214.

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