Tuesday, April 15, 2014

GIS for Airport Emergency Management

While doing research I occasionally come across a resource that I missed as the clock moved forward. Such is the case with a collection of informational items on the use of GIS for Emergency Management at airports which was released last year by the National Academies. Here's the description: 
ACRP Report 88: Guidebook on Integrating GIS in Emergency Management at airports consists of a guidebook and a CD with worksheets to help airports identify needs and assess current capabilities with respect to using geographical information systems (GIS) in emergency management (EM). The information collected in the worksheets provided become the backbone of a GIS-EM integration plan. A PowerPoint presentation (available on theTRB website by searching for ACRP Report 88) outlines the benefits of integrating GIS into EM and can be used when presenting those benefits to stakeholders.
And the backgrounder: 
A geographic information system (GIS) can be a productive tool to enhance EM and significantly reduce the gap in information flow and accuracy. For example, several airports have airport-specific assets mapped in various GIS layers including the following:
  • Runways;
  • Gates;
  • Terminals and buildings;
  • Roads and parking;
  • Power stations and utility lines;
  • Storage facilities;
  • Fire suppression and alarm system components;
  • IT infrastructure, location of on-site staging areas; and
  • Other items, such as lease space/tenant information.
These assets and their associated information can be key components to modern day EM operations.
You can download the guidebook and more at the link below:

(Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, March, 2013)

Comment: As infrastructure goes, transportation is as key as it gets. This point is especially true when it comes to aviation. Although the vast majority of U.S. airports have very well developed emergency response plans that have been honed during the past century of aviation in this country, it is noteworthy that the National Academies is prodding the greater community to rethink their planning based on what GIS can add to the equation. Nice!

Related side note - As ongoing encouragement on the subject matter in general, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies will be hosting a webinar entitled: Emergency and Disaster Preparedness: Cooperation and Coordination for Effective Response on June 18th, between 2:00 - 3:30 PM EDT. 

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