An Insight Event, The Airports Role in Reducing the Transmission of Communicable Diseases, was held on March 6th and 7th, 2018 that included members of the airport community in emergency management, EMS, ARFF personnel, and the public health community representing federal, state and local officials. The objective of the Insight Event was to 1) foster collaboration amongst the two communities, and other stakeholders, to achieve better outcomes, and 2) identify further research.
The event highlighted collaboration that has taken place between public health and airport staff in planning and responding to threats or actual events concerning communicable diseases. This drove the point that collaboration, knowing your stakeholder partners in the other communities and their skills and capacity, and planning with each other, is essential to prevent, detect, and respond to threats of communicable diseases. By engaging in planning activities, having correct and actual information and understanding the real risks will increase the likelihood of an appropriate and effective response by first and secondary responders.
The Insight Event concluded with a tabletop activity where the participants engaged in a discussion on the different ways in which they would collaboratively respond. This underscored the need for identifying and disseminating best practices. The participants and the planning committee acknowledged that the Insight Event provided a lot of useful information that would be informative for airports of all sizes and therefore, would like to see another workshop event to provide updated information.
There is a need for best practices to be compiled for airports that are universally applicable. There is also a need for an airport to be able to customize the best practices depending on the location, size, type of traveler, resources, and other airport characteristics, and the communicable disease to mitigate.
There is also a need for an airport to be able to customize the best practices depending on the location, size, type of traveler, resources, and other airport characteristics, and the communicable disease to mitigate.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook that identifies best practices that airports and their public health partners have successfully used to prevent, respond, and mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases
The objective shall be achieved at a minimum by conducting three 1-day regional workshops to introduce the issue to regional partners and capture best practices from airports and public health officials in those regions through interactive exercises. After compiling and organizing the best practices, a national workshop will be conducted to share and validate the findings.
The guidebook should include a brief summary of the process used to identify best practices, and address the following questions:
·What are the challenges of specific communicable diseases and are there distinctions by region? Are the solutions different depending on the region of the airport, and/or the type and size of airport?
·How can an airport prioritize best practices based on the airport’s demographic passengers and airport characteristics, limited resources, and the type of communicable disease to be mitigated?
·How have airports determined effectiveness of the practices that have been identified?
STATUS: Research is underway.