Recent emergency events at airport terminals including both natural and man-made (e.g., earthquakes, severe weather, security breaches, fire, power outages, bomb scares, shootings, and terrorism) demonstrate the need for a more comprehensive response to protect the traveling public. Evacuation, shelter-in-place, relocation, and repopulation/recovery plans range from incomplete to absent. Beyond planning, there are deficiencies in training, drilling, exercises, and mutual aid agreements. In addition, the increase of travelers with mobility and cognitive impairments further challenges incident response. Evidence indicates that plans need to better address coordination and response between the airport operator and all stakeholders. Therefore research is needed to create a tool to assist airport operators in the development of a response plan which, when implemented, would mitigate the impact of these events on the terminal users.
The objective of this research was to develop a scalable tool that airport operators can use to create and maintain integrated incident response plans that address hazards in and around airport terminals. These response plans covers evacuation, shelter-in-place, relocation, and repopulation/recovery and is applicable to a variety of sizes and types of airports and airport terminals.