Non-Commercial Airport Emergency Plans

By Wes Kirkpatrick, Manager
Monroe County Airport

Does your non-commercial general aviation airport have an emergency plan? You may be like me and think that only the big airports need those things. Well, I can tell you that isn’t the case.

In my almost nine years at Monroe County Airport, I have had three aircraft incidents and two aircraft accidents, one of which was fatal. I came into an airport that didn’t have any formal plan, and I handled the three incidents and first accident without a plan at all. There were some issues in the events that could have been avoided had a plan been in place. After the fatal accident, all parties involved in the response met and decided that even though everything worked out for the most part, a formal emergency plan would be beneficial going forward.

So I undertook the task of researching and developing a plan. I took information from AC 150/5200-31C, Airport Technical Assistance Program and coupled that with some samples that the NTSB investigator gave me after my first accident. All parties involved in the plan met and approved their respective sections.

Two years and a day from my first accident, we experienced another, but this time we had a plan and executed it flawlessly. Everything worked out just as laid out in the plan, and fortunately there were only minor injuries. So if your airport doesn’t have an emergency plan, you may want to think about developing one.

Feel free to contact me with questions or for help:
Wes Kirkpatrick
[email protected]