Advisory Circular (AC) No. 302-025

Airport Emergency Plan – Transportation of Passengers and Crew

Issuing Office: Civil Aviation, Standards Document No.: AC 302-025
File Classification No.: 5000-34 Issue No.: 01
RDIMS No.: 12445946-V3 Effective Date: 2017-06-06

1.0 Introduction

  • (1) This Advisory Circular (AC) is provided for information and guidance purposes. It may describe an example of an acceptable means, but not the only means of demonstrating compliance with regulations and standards. This AC on its own does not change, create, amend or permit deviations from regulatory requirements nor does it establish minimum standards.

1.1 Applicability

  • (1) This document applies to Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) employees and aerodrome operators.

1.2 Description of Changes

  • (1) Not applicable.

2.0 References and Requirements

2.1 Reference Documents

  • (1) It is intended that the following reference material be used in conjunction with this document:
    • (a) Part III, Subpart 02 of the CARs — Airports.

2.2 Cancelled Documents

  • (1) Not applicable.
  • (2) By default, it is understood that the publication of a new issue of a document automatically renders any earlier issues of the same document null and void.

2.3 Definitions and Abbreviations

  • (1) The following abbreviations are used in this document:
    • (a) AC: Advisory Circular
    • (b) CARs: Canadian Aviation Regulations
    • (c) TCCA: Transport Canada Civil Aviation

3.0 Background

  • (1) The requirement for the prompt transportation of passengers and crew from an on-airport accident/incident site to a holding area is extremely important and is a commonly known situation. Airport emergency plans do not always identify all available transportation resources and do not necessarily include clear and detail instructions for requesting and dispatching airport transportation services in case of an event. Even though many airport emergency plans may be very clear and concise in considering this, some of them do not necessarily test it during table top or full-scale exercises.
  • (2) Past experiences also demonstrated that recovery of passengers and crew from the accident/incident site can also be delayed due to a number of other factors, including severe weather conditions or the failure of the airport operations communication network.

4.0 Discussion

  • (1) CAR 302.202 (1) requires that after consultation with a representative sample of the air operators that use the airport and with community organizations that may be of assistance during emergency operations at the airport or in its vicinity, the operator of an airport shall develop and maintain an emergency plan for the purpose of identifying
    • (a) the emergencies that can reasonably be expected to occur at the airport or in its vicinity and that could be a threat to the safety of persons or to the operation of the airport;
    • (b) the measures to activate the emergency plan for each type of emergency;
    • (c) the community organizations capable of providing assistance in an emergency; and
    • (d) any additional resources available at the airport and in the surrounding area.

    Airport emergency planning is the process of preparing an airport to cope with an emergency occurring at the airport or in its vicinity. The object of airport emergency planning is to minimize the effects of an emergency, particularly in respect of saving lives and maintaining aircraft operations. The airport emergency plan sets forth the procedures for coordinating the response of different airport agencies (or services) and those agencies in the surrounding community that could be of assistance in responding to the emergency. Each airport/community has individual needs and peculiarities, the basic needs and concepts of emergency planning and exercises will be much the same and involve the same major problem areas: command, communication and coordination.

  • (2) 302.203 (1) Requires that in an emergency plan, the operator of an airport shall, at a minimum describe the communication procedures and specify the radio frequencies to be used to link the different organizations, it must identify the alerting procedures that activate the emergency plan and specify a schedule for the testing of the airport communication equipment.

    A coordinated communication network is of vital importance and should consist of a sufficient number of radio transceivers, telephones or other communication devices to establish and maintain a primary and a secondary means of communication. These networks should link the emergency operations centre and the command post with each other as well as with all participating agencies. In order to provide continuous communication, the plan should address provisions for redundancy and must also include the maintenance of an adequate communication network and its backup modes.

  • (3) 302.203 (1) (t) requires that in an emergency plan, the operator of an airport shall, at a minimum describe the procedures to assist persons who have been evacuated.

    The possibility of having passengers injured during an aircraft accident/incident makes it necessary to plan for prompt notification of available emergency services (i.e. ambulance) to evacuate them to appropriate medical facilities.

    In addition, the transportation of uninjured passengers and crew from an on-airport accident/incident site is a widely known scenario and therefore one for which organizations must practice and be prepared. Timely transportation of evacuated passengers and crew to a safe holding area is important, and even more so in harsh weather conditions when they are without shelter. The emergency plan must identify the available resources or agencies involved in their transportation.

    Transportation resources available at the airport, such as vans and buses need to be inventoried and included in the emergency plan notably for the transportation of uninjured passengers and crew. It is incumbent to include in the planning process the most effective method of acquiring these resources and placing them where needed in a timely manner.

5.0 Conclusion

  • (1) An airport accident/incident can occur anywhere, at any time - day or night, under variable weather condition, and in unpredictable degrees of magnitude; it can occur instantaneously or develop slowly. It is important to remember that, while emergencies can seldom be exactly predicted, they can be anticipated, prepared for and tested during table top or full-scale exercises. A strong emergency plan should be activated automatically following notification of the emergency. In order to promptly dispatch the best available resources and effectively evacuate or transport the injured and uninjured passengers and crew, the plan should include necessary details such as the inventory of the available vehicles and the instructions on how to request, dispatch and communicate with them.

6.0 Information Management

  • (1) Not Applicable.

7.0 Document History

  • (1) Not Applicable.

8.0 Contact Office

For more information, please contact:

Suggestions for amendment to this document are invited, and should be submitted via:

Original signed by

Robert Sincennes
Director, Standards
Civil Aviation