ACRP Finalizing Guidebook for Tarmac Delay and Other Irregular Operations

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) projects is on track to publish its Guidebook for Airport Irregular Operations Contingency Planning next spring. Recently, ACRP released an 11-page project status update as a preliminary tool to assist airports in formulating their contingency plans.

The research project’s objective is to prepare a practical airport irregular operations response planning document for commercial passenger service airports of all sizes to improve customer service during times of adverse weather and unplanned conditions. 

The project is specifically focusing on responses to situations that involve:

·         Tarmac delays

·         Passenger surges in terminals and security areas

·         Terminal passenger capacity

·         Off-hour conditions related to staffing for both TSA and CBP functions; concessions

·         Passenger conditions during extended stays both in terminals and off-site

·         Planning for passengers with special needs

Upon completion of the project, users of the guidebook will be given step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and/or refine their irregular operations contingency plans.  Moreover, the guidebook’s flexible material will enable airports to either make improvements to existing irregular operations contingency plans or create a completely new plan and will be scalable to relate to large, medium and small airports.

The project was proposed by ACI-NA in 2010. The ACI-NA recommendation grew out of several industry workshops (including the ACI-NA Irregular Operations Workshop in January 2008) held in the wake of weather-related multi-hour disruptions in both 2007 and 2008. Participants were working to proactively address customer core needs during irregular operations and identify potential actions for improvement. Prior to ACRP accepting the project, the DOT issued its ModelPlan for Lengthy Airline Onboard Ground Delays report, which was referenced during the November 30 DOT/FAA Diversions Forum.