Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Airport Emergency Preparedness Guidelines

The Airports Council International, which represents the world's airports, revised its preparedness guidelines this month. They make for interesting reading. Here's a copy.

Let's hope the individual airports get the message about the importance of clear and accurate communication with the public. From the guidelines:

"Communication with affected travelers is vital to ensuring that discord is not created. Travelers should be kept informed, and staff should be available to reply to questions."

We'll see how that works out, if and when.

The guidelines begin with this summary:

"In the event of an outbreak of communicable diseases on an international level, air travel will be the focus of much attention due to the potential for aviation to increase the rate at which a disease spreads, thereby decreasing the time available for preparing interventions. Although it is probably not feasible to halt the spread of some diseases, advance preparation should make it possible to reduce the consequences."

Meanwhile, let's hope we don't see many manifestations of this:

"In the event of positive secondary screening, measures should be taken to refer the individual for appropriate diagnosis, and management, in accordance with the IHR (2005) with a view to protecting the public from potential infection i.e. by isolation or quarantine. Appropriate isolation or quarantine facilities should be identified by the public health authority and are normally only available away from the airport site."


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