Airports committed to improve severe weather diversion decision process

Posted: 1 December 2011 | AAAE | No comments yet

Improve data sharing and contingency planning part of an industry-wide effort…

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Airport executives are taking an active role in working collaboratively with airlines, regulators and other industry stakeholders to improve data sharing and contingency planning as part of an industry-wide effort to enhance decision-making about flight diversions during severe weather.

Representatives from some 40 airports were among the attendees at yesterday’s DOT/FAA Diversion Forum in Washington, D.C. Attendees discussed the challenges they face during severe weather situations, and the opportunities to improve those situations for passengers. Airports supported the goal of providing more information among stakeholders to increase situational awareness during severe weather. Airports also pledged to continue working with airlines, regulators, their local communities and each other to further develop and coordinate contingency plans.

“Airport executives remain committed to improving the passenger experience during severe weather periods by continuing our collaboration with airlines, federal agencies and other key stakeholders,” said Melissa Sabatine, AAAE’s vice president of regulatory affairs. “Yesterday’s forum underscored several opportunities for improvement, notably increasing the amount and frequency of information shared between airports, airlines, and FAA before and during diversions. Airports are ready to contribute to and benefit from a more robust information exchange that will help foster more informed diversion-related decisions.”

Forum participants discussed several current efforts by airports and other stakeholders to help mitigate the effect of diversions on passengers and others involved. Notably, an Airport Cooperative Research Program guidebook for airports on irregular operations contingency planning development and implementation is nearly complete. The guidebook, which includes current best practices and templates for creating effective contingency plans, will help ensure airports of all sizes have a concise, practical resource on how to develop practical plans for supporting airlines and other stakeholders during diversions.

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