7.8 Planning for Irregular Operations

Irregular operations (IROPS) at commercial service airports have the potential to cause a myriad of challenges including tarmac delays, passenger surges in terminal areas and security areas, terminal areas reaching capacity, off-hour staffing conditions for security and concessions, passenger conditions during extended stays in terminals, and accommodation of special needs passengers. IROPS plans typically address such areas as facilitating communication, providing facilities, and supporting airline response efforts. In addition the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires airport operators to file tarmac delay contingency plans every 5 years.

ACRP Report 65: Guidebook for Airport Irregular Operations Contingency Planning
Designed to help guide commercial passenger service airports of all sizes to develop, continually evaluate, and update their contingency plans for procedures pertaining to IROPS that may cause significant disruptions to customers.

Resource A: Topics for IROPS Plan Development
A series of editable worksheets to create an IROPS contingency plan.

Resource B:  Model IROPS Contingency Plan
An editable outline for an IROPS contingency plan.

Resource C:  Tools
Topic worksheets that when completed combine to create a generic IROPS contingency plan.

ACRP Report 106: Being Prepared for IROPS: A Business–Planning and Decision-Making Approach
Describes a business-planning process to help justify airport planning and funding decisions (capital as well as operations and maintenance) related to supporting IROPS contingency planning.

ACRP Report 153: Guidebook for IROPS Stakeholder Communication & Coordination
Details on strategies and tools for reducing IROPs impacts on passengers to assist with the communication and coordination as airports and airlines implement IROPS contingency plans.

IROPS Tabletop Exercise Planning Guide and Scenarios
Provides a series of documents to assist in planning IROPS tabletop exercises for various IROPS scenarios.

Checklists for IROPS Stakeholder Communication & Coordination
Provides editable checklists to assist airports in developing and maintaining the communication contact list of stakeholders for IROPS operations.

IROPS Risk Assessment Guide and Tools
Provides a series of editable risk tools (spreadsheets) for multiple types of IROPS stakeholders and a user’s guide.