Airports practice and understand working with their local community mutual aid organizations in responding to airport emergencies. However, when it comes to community-wide disasters (i.e., hurricanes, earthquakes) that adversely affect airport operations, airports may not be the first priority in the deployment of mutual aid assets. Airports are excellent resources for other airports during these disasters in that they have the exact type of asset and human resources with the knowledge to assist in the unique operating requirements of airport systems. Two grass-roots organizations have been created to provide these resources: the Southeastern Airports Disaster Operations Group (SEADOG) and the Western Airports Disaster Operations Group (WestDOG), known collectively as the DOGs. The DOGs serve as a mechanism to assist impacted airports and to coordinate with airports seeking to provide assistance, much in the same way as utility companies provide for each other. Airports are interested in participating in such groups, but with known financial, legal, and logistical hurdles, they have been hesitant to formally commit. With other industries having resolved or worked within these constraints, further research is needed to help airports develop and implement airport-to-airport mutual aid programs (MAPs).
The objective of this research is to prepare a guidebook to help public airport operators of all sizes and types to develop and implement national and/or regional airport-to-airport mutual aid programs (MAPs) to plan, assess, respond, and recover from an event that adversely affects operations of the airport.