Business Continuity & Incident Response Management

Airports – as critical components of aviation infrastructure – are vital to the secure and reliable movement of people and goods both domestically and internationally. The continuity of airport operations is therefore paramount, but faced with increasing threats, as well as a more dynamic, complex and interconnected operating environment, uncertainties have been amplified and ensuring business continuity has become a significant challenge for airport management.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) – as an integral component of whole-of-organisation risk management – is a process of ensuring the uninterrupted availability of the primary business resources required in order to sustain crucial business activities. This involves identifying the organisation’s critical objectives (purpose) and related systems, vulnerabilities related to those systems, potential disruptions and, mitigation strategies.

This research program will be closely linked with the Business Processing Modelling, Airport Information Modelling and the Intelligent Surveillance streams.

Research Aims

The Business Continuity program aims to explore the current risk, contingency and recovery planning practices in airports (both in Australia and selected international locations). In doing so, it is hoped that vulnerabilities or incomplete analyses in current contingency, recovery and risk-informed planning are identified and accounted for. The project also sets out to apply detailed continuity management concepts, along with integration of an Incident Response Management system within the Airport Information Model.  Crisis response procedures will eventually be incorporated within the AIM, and will be evaluated with airport end-users.

Research Approach

The Business Continuity program has two main components:

  • Integrated Contingency and Security planning:

This program will develop guidelines for designing flexible risk-based security policies and contingency plans that ensure optimal business continuity, satisfy government regulations, and meet evolving needs of the aviation industry to identify threats and mitigate emergency incidents within the context of complex system management. This program will:

  • Assess contingency and recovery planning needs at selected Australian and international airports;
  • Develop candidate approaches and guidelines; and
  • Prepare and trial training protocols for risk, contingency and recovery planning.

The impact of these guidelines on other system components (identified in Complex Systems research), processes (from Business Process Modelling) and customer experiences (Human Systems) will be evaluated for effectiveness and end-user suitability.

  • An Incident Response Management (IRM) Decision Support System incorporating emergency coordination capacities, which are triggered through the identification of security incidents and other unexpected events (via linking Intelligent Surveillance, Identity Management and the Airport Information Model) to coordinate response, evacuation and recovery protocols. This IRM system will become closely linked to the incident command by state and national security organisations.

Research Team

  • Dr Paul Barnes (Chief Investigator)
  • Marisa Camastral (PhD Student)
  • Michael Devine (PhD Student)
  • Robert Blin (Senior Reseach Assistant)