November 11, 2009
If you had a heart attack at your hangar or noticed suspicious activity at the airport, would the first responders know where to go on the airport after you called for help?
As long as your airport has an emergency plan in place and has coordinated with local first responders, getting help should be no problem.
Almost 90 percent of the general aviation airports surveyed in the latest Airport Cooperative Research Program report have emergency plans. The report, released earlier this month, lists current safety and security practices from airports across the country, including AOPA’s Airport Watch.
If your airport does not have an emergency plan, use this report as a tool to help create one that meets your facility’s unique needs. A good plan should include contact information for key airport personnel and should be provided to paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officials.
“The first time emergency responders show up at your airport should not be with their sirens on,” said Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs. “They need to be familiar with the airport and know in advance who to work with.”
The report also recommended AOPA’s Airport Watch as a useful tool to enhance airport security. (Airport Watch also was highlighted in another recent report, “Keeping the skies friendly: Next steps for general aviation security.”)
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The FAA encourages pilots to do a number of things in order to increase safety, but does not require them. Check out these three actions that are recommended.
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