Lessons Learned So Far in 2011: Hope for the Best butPrepare for the Worst


Each year, ICAS identifies emerging trends on safety and operations concerns, and passes them along to members to help them avoid experiencing the problems and missteps experienced by other air show professionals. 

So far this year, the most obvious emerging trend relates to emergency response readiness. In several incidents and accidents already this year, slower-than-absolutely-necessary response has been identified as a contributing factor or something that could have become a contributing factor if the incident or near incident had become more serious.  

Emergency response plans must be more than a collection of paper in a loose-leaf notebook collecting dust on a shelf somewhere in the air show office. Table top simulation exercises, periodic review of emergency procedures, and frequent revisiting and discussion of likely scenarios and agreed upon responses should be a regular part of your air show planning and overall event management. 

It is an unspoken, but critically important tacit agreement between performers and event organizers. Performers agree to take all necessary precautions to avoid an accident while performing. Event organizers agree to be prepared and ready to respond if, despite his efforts to avoid it, the performer is involved in an accident. Please learn from those who have learned this lesson the hard way: make sure that you and your team are prepared to respond if and when an emergency develops at your show.

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The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is a trade association dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. To achieve this goal, ICAS demands its members operate their air show business at only the highest levels of safety, professionalism, and integrity.