Airport Business

NOV 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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8 airportbusiness November 2018 SECURITY MATTERS By Michael Cardarelli Ready for Takeoff: How Airports Can Achieve Faster Incident Response Rapid communication is essential for airports to properly respond to a major incident. Everything from cyber-attacks to adverse weather and active shooter situations can play havoc with airport operations. Threats to passenger safety and operations have the power to ground or cancel flights, hinder check-in processes and even shut down an airport. During critical events, collaboration across the airport ecosystem — including airline employees, retail tenants, concessions staff, passengers and mutual aid partners — is vital. A lack of information sharing can cause confusion that exacerbates the situation and may put airport personnel and passengers in harm’s way. When Critical Events Strike, Rapid Communication is Key Unexpected, critical events create nightmares for even the most well-run airports. When these events occur, it’s vital that airport personnel are able to communicate clearly and effectively with first responders, management, all badged personnel, vendor employees and the traveling public with pre-approved communications, which can be executed instantaneously during times when it matters most. This means that when an incident has been identified, it’s crucial to reach out to the right people and provide them with the right information and collaboration tools so they can take the steps to investigate an IT issue, confront an active shooter or make preparations for irregular operations. By leveraging streamlined communications processes that automate incident response, airport managers can help ensure an effective response, no matter what the crisis is. For example: • Severe Weather – Events such as hurricanes and winter storms can result in flight cancellations, diversions and increases in passenger volume from people trying to get out of town before they hit. In these instances, clearly communicating that the airport will be shutting down at a certain day and time — and that stakeholders should prepare for a short-term traffic spike — enables staff, vendors, cab stands and passengers to all participate as the airport works to ensure continued smooth operations. For example, ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Irma, airports across Florida and the Atlantic Coast prepared to suspend operations as forecasters warned that the storm would be a hurricane of epic proportions. Airports including Key West International, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International and those in Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale all announced that they would suspend commercial flights during the storm. In addition to notifying the public about cancellations via official channels, airports across the state leveraged pre-configured statewide communications channels, which cautioned people against using the airports as hurricane shelters. In the days before the hurricane hit, Fort Lauderdale communicated that it was offering a shuttle service that would transport stranded travelers to a hurricane shelter at a nearby elementary school. Everbridge

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