Airport Emergency Protocols for Passengers with Reduced Mobility: Constrains and Possible Solutions
(Comunicação em Conferência)
Airport emergency cases are becoming more common; therefore, it becomes extremely important to have good emergency and evacuation protocols that are easily and quickly applied so the number of the aﬀected is minimized. The simulation of these emergencies is important to implement evacuation plans and evaluate them. Evacuation and containment plans are often idealized to passengers that in case of emergency are self-suﬃcient, able to physically attend themselves in their evacuation from the airport, not being optimized for passengers with reduced mobility that require assistance from others, and thus more time for evacuation. This study aims to understand and identify key issues with regard to how passengers with reduced mobility are considered in current evacuation plans and how in practice these are actually applied and also understand which possible solutions exist to solve the major ﬂaws of these protocols. For that, we performed an analysis related to the airport emergency protocols and regulations that are currently applied at European level, where we found that in fact there are large gaps in relation to what is deﬁned in international law is that which is applied in practice. One of the major ﬂaws in the implementation of these protocols are the set times for evacuations that do not contemplate at all situations of reduced mobility that are dependent on outside help. Airports infrastructure also present some obstacles in emergency situations, particularly in the case of energy failure where there is no alternative transport for people in wheelchairs, because most emergency accesses only present stairs as an alternative to elevators or the escalators.