Air Operations and Support

IEM Air™ – Air Operations & Support

IEM Air OpsAir operations are vital to supporting numerous plans and operations conducted at all levels of government, military, and the private sector. Proper planning and coordination are essential to conduct safe and coordinated aviation operations during contingencies, disasters, and major events.

IEM has assisted government, military, and the private sector with planning and operations since 1985. Under National Air Operations and Mass Evacuation Transportation Planning (METP) contracts IEM has been providing aviation expertise to government agencies resulting in:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Joint Field Office’s Aviation Branch Operations Manual
  • National Response Framework (NRF) Aviation Operation Support Annex
  • Aviation Cadre Task Books
  • State and Local Aviation Planning (SLAP) guidance
  • Development of Federal Support Plans (for air evacuations)
  • The successful air evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Gustav

Air Evacuation Aviation Ground Support

Under contract with FEMA, IEM is conducting airfield site assessments, operations planning (OPLAN), aircraft ground support, and passenger support for mass air evacuations of at-risk population centers. Support will also be made available for air operations during non-emergencies, emergencies, and military contingencies, as well as humanitarian operations.

IEM is conducting airfield site assessments using former Air Mobility Command (AMC) airfield survey team members, Air Mobility Liaison Officers (AMLO), and Contingency Response Wing (CRW) personnel. IEM’s assessment teams use a modified AMC Form 174 – Airfield Survey Form. These airfield site assessments are accepted by FEMA, the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), and AMC to update the airfield suitability and restrictions reports (ASRR) database and conduct planning.

Airfield assessments include supporting pre- and post-evacuations, logistics, and aeromedical evacuations (AE). Post-event assessments are being used to reopen airfields in the impact area and to evaluate incident area airports in order to:

  • Determine readiness to accept flights
  • Determine requirements for returning to operational status
  • Provide real-time assessments on airfields by recognized experts

FEMA Air Transportation Support Services

In April 2011, IEM was awarded a five year IDIQ contact providing aircraft, flight crews, and ground support for FEMA.  It supports both non-disaster transportation as well as Stafford Act disasters.

IEM Air Ops DronesAirport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP)

In July 2010, IEM began work on the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) 4-10 to support airport-to-airport mutual aid programs (MAP). IEM was recently awarded two additional contracts: ACRP 4-12 and 4-13. To support ACRP 4-12,  IEM is developing a guidebook to be used by airport staff to evaluate and implement web-based collaboration tools that provide a common operating picture for both day-to-day operations and full emergency response management.  As part of IEM’s support to ACRP 4-13, we are providing research to develop a model Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program for the airport community that includes (1) an awareness plan and description of benefits, (2) implementation guidance, and (3) steps for integrating into airport emergency response planning.

Drone/Unmanned Aircraft System/small Unmanned Aircraft System/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

IEM’s “Air Ops” team is now certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to commercially-fly drones (a.k.a., UASs, sUASs, and UAVs). The Air Ops team consists of former military, commercial, and private aviators who are FAA part 107 certified and insured to fly these unmanned systems. IEM has commercial-grade drones and already has active contracts that utilize our UAS/UAV capabilities.

IEM Air™ in the Caribbean

IEM Air™ provided air operations support to survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

IEM Air Ops IEM Air Ops Emergency Operations IEM Air in the Caribbean

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IEM became one of the first companies to focus solely on emergency management and to use quantitative data and science to inform decisions in emergency management. Over the past 35 years, IEM has grown from a company of one to an employer of over 550 employees, and has provided clients and communities with innovative solutions that produce results and save lives.

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) is jointly managed by FEMA and the U.S. Army. The program ensures maximum protection for the communities surrounding U.S. chemical weapons stockpile sites. Since 1993, IEM has provided program integration services to FEMA and through FEMA to the states and counties that are part of CSEPP.

In 1999, FEMA selected IEM to be the CSEPP onsite Program Management and Integration Contractor. IEM worked with program managers to develop a flexible protection framework that broke down the “maximum protection” mandate into measurable benchmarks. These benchmarks have been adopted by emergency managers in 10 states, 40 countries, and one Tribal Nation.
IEM was awarded a five-year BPA with FEMA to continue working to further CSEPP initiatives between 2000 and 2004. During this time IEM was contracted to develop a secure website to facilitate communication and information-sharing among CSEPP planners nationwide who work in different jurisdictions. The website IEM created now has over 1,000 active users who use it as their primary source of CSEPP information. IEM also developed a demonstration version of an interactive computer-based “game” designed to illustrate the effects of different protective action decisions in a CSEPP emergency to citizens in the Madison County, KY, CSEPP community.

FEMA awarded IEM a second five-year BPA from 2005-2011. IEM was asked to provide CSEPP technical and analytical studies, risk assessments, support for development of programmatic guidance and preparation of reports to Congress. IEM was required to evaluate the Oregon CSEPP community’s readiness in the event of a depot incident. IEM also assisted in the planning and execution of regular readiness exercises and supported pre-exercise meetings. IEM’s work for CSEPP has been recognized on multiple levels. In 2004, FEMA and IEM received a Profiles in Innovation Award for Emergency Preparedness and Response Excellence from GOVSEC (Government Security Expo and Conference). IEM continues to work with FEMA to increase preparedness and achieve measurable results.


QEM uses the information gathered from conducting different scenarios to calculate the risk and impact of implementing different risk-reducing strategies. It pinpoints the actions that are the most effective at reducing risk across a wide spectrum of potential events. QEM allows clients to know the best way to allocate funds and bridge gaps in preparedness without spending thousands of dollars to implement ideas that cannot work.

QEM’s methodology has been applied to hundreds of IEM projects, such as readiness assessments, chemical plant mitigation studies, protective action analyses, and hurricane evacuation planning. The U.S. Army and FEMA have repeatedly used QEM technology to assess strategies to protect citizens in case of an accidental release of chemical agents. DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) also utilized QEM to quantify the effectiveness of various chemical defense systems. The software continues to provide valuable solutions to clients.