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5 Airports strive to have public notification programs that are intuitive and simple to operate and that effectively and efficiently notify recipients of any situation that could impact them. When developing or improving its notification program, an airport needs to consider its unique characteristics, needs, and wants. This guidebook chapter describes critical decision-making areas for the development of an effective public notification program. Because this process is not âone size fits allââevery air- port is uniqueâairports are encouraged to consider all of the steps in the process flow and make adjustments and modifications to fit their specific needs and situation. Airports may also develop their own goals and objectives as needed when going through this process. Each airport will make some policy decisions regarding its notifications. For example, an airport may have multiple notification plans scattered and isolated in various departments, divi- sions, and/or sections. If this is the case, consolidating the various plans into a single program may prove to be beneficial. In the research for ACRP Project 10-25, 35 airports surveyed stated that they had notification plans. Of these airports, 77% included notifications as part of their AEPs. Federal Aviation Regu- lation 139 (FAR 139) and FAA Advisory Circular 150/5200-31C (AC 31C) mandate that certain emergency notification capabilities be detailed as functional sections within an AEP (see AC 31C Chapter 6, Sections 3 and 4). However not all airports are required to have an AEP. Moreover, even if an AEP exists, the FAA discourages airports from including any non-emergency-specific procedure in the AEP. This guidebook presents three options for airports to consider in the development of a noti- fication program (Figure 2-1). â¢ Option 1. The airport leaves the two required functional sections on emergency notifications in the AEP and places information about all other notification categories (e.g., incident and non-emergency notifications) in a separate, stand-alone notification program. The benefit to Option 1 is that it leaves the AEP intact and keeps the airportâs emergency notifications completely within the AEP. The biggest drawback to this approach is that the airportâs total capabilities remain split across separate programs and program documents. â¢ Option 2. The airport duplicates the two required emergency notification functional sec- tions from the AEP and includes them in a comprehensive, stand-alone notification-specific program that represents all notification protocols from the various airport departments, divi- sions, and/or sections. This option also leaves the AEP intact, but it provides the airport with a consolidated notification program. One benefit of Option 2 is that it provides a single point of reference for all notification policies and procedures, which allows for a âcommon viewâ approach of all of the airportâs notification capabilities. If Option 2 is chosen, the researchers C h a p t e r 2 Critical Decision-Making Areas for Program Development
6 Guidebook for preparing public Notification programs at airports suggest that the airports use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) format for both the new stand-alone program document and the airportâs AEP. Option 2 also provides airports an opportunity to place greater emphasis on the importance of notifications and allows for the use of an ongoing, continuous improvement cycle approach. The drawback to Option 2 is that both the AEP and the comprehensive, stand-alone notification-specific program need to be maintained simultaneously to ensure consistency. Option 1 and Option 2 may require that this new stand-alone public notification program be developed and handled as sensitive security information (SSI). Preliminary Decisions Figure 2-1. Notification program options. Airports are advised to contact their local Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulatory office to ensure acceptance/compliance with SSI requirements. â¢ Option 3. This option applies only to those airports without an AEP, which generally means smaller airports. Even small airports are encouraged to develop a comprehensive, stand-alone notification-specific program. If an AEP is later deemed necessary, then the functional sections on emergency notifications from the comprehensive program can simply be incorporated into the AEP. Precedence exists for an airport creating a stand-alone notification-specific program. Mov- ing toward a more comprehensive, consolidated notification program will benefit an airport in many ways. Expanding a single program to include the management of notifications by using social media, websites, intranets, and multi-media communications will help deliver quick and accurate initial, follow-up, and âall-clearâ notifications. A consolidated program provides for
Critical Decision-Making areas for program Development 7 a big-picture understanding of all of the airportâs notification capabilities that increases overall notification knowledge and reduces duplication of efforts, thereby improving notification per- formance and efficiency. It is very important to consider ADA requirements and the needs of linguistically diverse populations in program planning. The airportâs ability to disseminate needed notifications is considered critical for safety and very important in ensuring quality customer service. Generally, systems that are used âoftenâ or on âa daily or near daily basisâ will result in a higher level of operator proficiency. Therefore, it is advised that the system used for emergency notifications also be used for incident and non- emergency type notifications. The use of the everyday system for all three categories of notifica- tions will result in a higher level of proficiency during critical situations. In addition, the use of an ongoing, continuous improvement cycle will help to ensure improved performance and proficiency. Employees, stakeholders, and recipients of notifications will all benefit if the airport deems it necessary to have a process that provides for continual improvements. The continuous improvement cycle approach will help guarantee that the airportâs notification program never stagnates. Recommended Process for Development of a Stand-Alone Notification-Specific Program This process begins with an understanding of the program development process and program management process. In this guidebook, chapters 3 through 7 provide recommended actions that will assist airports as they develop or revise notification programs. Figure 2-2 provides an overview of the guidebookâs recommended program development process. Figure 2-3 provides an overview of the program management process. Program Management Process Once a decision has been made to make a change, senior management is advised to analyze budget and resource barriers up front to ensure realistic expectations. Senior management will also consider who will act as the âproject sponsorâ to oversee the project management team (PMT). The PMT generally includes a steering committee, a stakeholder committee, and a pro- gram planning team (PPT). An effective PMT will be critical to the development of a successful program. Project Management Team (PMT) A typical PMT might include (but not be limited to) the following: â¢ Project sponsor, â¢ Steering committee, â¢ Stakeholder committee, and â¢ PPT (see Chapter 4, Resource EO-7; Chapter 5, Resource DP-9; Chapter 6, Resource FP-7; and Chapter 7, Resource IM-8). The project sponsor should be a senior management representative who clearly understands and supports the senior managementâs decision for change. The project sponsor needs to be knowledgeable and committed to dedicating the necessary time, budget, and personnel. The proj- ect sponsor may be tasked with assembling the other members of the PMT, which might include a steering committee, a stakeholder committee, and a PPT. Thereafter, the project sponsorâs role is to establish broad project goals and support the process by chairing the steering committee.
8 Guidebook for preparing public Notification programs at airports Secure senior management approval Develop a Project Management Team Consider: A Project Sponsor A Steering Committee A Program Planning Team A Stakeholder committee Program Management Development Chapter 2 Develop internal and external stakeholder groups Assess eï¬ectiveness of current systems, methods, and/or tools Assess notiï¬cation needs for: Situations/events All categories of notiï¬cations Physical locations Needs Assessment Chapter 3 Use surveys, work groups and/or interviews to gather information Explore: Internal/external partnering opportunities Functionalities of systems, methods, tools Methods to address notiï¬cation gaps Explore Options Chapter 4 Set priorities and make decisions Understand all regulatory/legal implications Establish and write: Speciï¬c goals and measurable objectives Needed agreements Policies and procedures Develop Program Chapter 5 Formalize Program Chapter 6 Implement/Manage/Improve Program Chapter 7 Is there a rollout strategy plan with: A timeline A training plan and educational materials A formal post-rollout evaluation plan Is there a continuous improvement cycle with: A stakeholder suggestion program A plan to evaluate signiï¬cant events Follow the NIMS/31C format Provide an approach for the development of a stand-alone notiï¬cation-speciï¬c program Make recommendations for additional functional sections Figure 2-2. Recommended program development process.
Critical Decision-Making areas for program Development 9 The steering committee comprises senior representatives from the various departments, divi- sions, and/or sections involved in the execution or receipt of notifications. The steering com- mittee is tasked with establishing realistic policy and budgetary decisions that will apply to the project. The steering committee also is responsible for assigning members to the PPT. If a sig- nificant issue arises, it is the steering committeeâs responsibility to resolve the issue or elevate it back to the project sponsor. The stakeholder committee helps gather the airport customersâ perspectives. Ideally, pro- gram planning should be conducted in collaboration with airport stakeholders. Internal and external stakeholder representatives can provide unique perspectives and valuable feedback on issues, concerns, and needs. This feedback can be collected using a variety of methods. The stake- holder committeeâs input can be critical in establishing and ensuring a comprehensive picture of the programâs issues, opportunities, direction, and decisions. Stakeholder committee members may include (but not be limited to) representatives from the following groups: â¢ Airlines, â¢ Pilot groups, â¢ Fixed-base operators (FBOs), â¢ Airport tenants, â¢ Airport vendors, â¢ Air traffic control (ATC), Figure 2-3. Recommended program management process.
10 Guidebook for preparing public Notification programs at airports â¢ Local military groups, â¢ Public safety agencies, â¢ Regional emergency management, â¢ Cargo companies, â¢ Federal regulatory agencies, â¢ Public safety answering points (PSAPs), â¢ Ground transportation providers, and â¢ Neighboring community groups. Stakeholder committee members should be selected based on the specific needs of the airport. The PPT is tasked with all program planning. This will involve a needs assessment phase to gather information about stakeholder and notification procedures and systems. The PPT will need to explore options for partnerships and relationships that could (or should) be developed. The PPT also will need to research systems, methods, and tools and their functionalities, many of which are discussed in Appendix A of this guidebook. Once the development phase of the program planning has begun, the PPT will adopt program goals, objectives, policies, and pro- cedures. Then the PPT can begin formalizing the notification program. The PPT will need to develop a rollout strategy plan to help in the initial implementation of the program. Once the program has been deemed operational, the program will ideally be managed using a continuous improvement cycle process developed by the PPT. Broken down by phase, PPT responsibilities might include (but not be limited to) the following: â¢ Planning Phase â Identify and collaborate with all stakeholders by b Identifying all stakeholdersâ notification needs and concerns; b Analyzing existing rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and agreements; b Exploring new agreements, partnerships, and relationships; b Identifying program obstacles, concerns, and risks; b Identifying physical locations with notification concerns; b Assessing whether any new systems, methods, or tools need to be procured; b Determining which existing systems, methods, and tools can be integrated into the new program; and b Considering program resiliency and continuity of operations. â¢ Development Phase â Develop program goals, objectives, policies, and procedures that b Comply with all applicable rules and regulations; b Incorporate existing agreements and any new agreements, if needed; b Resolve all obstacles and concerns; b Plan to integrate existing systems, methods, and tools; b Commit to a continuous improvement cycle approach; and b Are complete. â¢ Formalizing Phase â Write a stand-alone notification-specific program that b Includes a Basic Plan; b Includes the two functional sections on emergency notifications required by the NIMS/ AC 31C format; b Identifies any additional functional sections needed; b Identifies any additional hazard-specific sections or subsections needed; and b Develops the headings needed for the program document.
Critical Decision-Making areas for program Development 11 â¢ Implementation and Management Phase â Create a written strategic plan specific to the rollout that b Includes a stakeholder suggestion program; b Provides for a formal post-event evaluation process for significant events; b Creates an exercise schedule for the next 12 months; b Incorporates a formal evaluation process for the exercise(s); b Includes an Improvement Plan for addressing areas of concern post events and/or exercises; and b Provides for initial and recurrent training. Once an airport decides a need exists to improve an existing notification program or develop a stand-alone program, the airport needs to consider how it will approach the following phases, described in chapters 3 through 7 (Figure 2-4): Chapter 3 â¢ Needs Assessment Chapter 4 â¢ Explore Options Chapter 5 â¢ Develop Program Chapter 6 â¢ Formalize Program Chapter 7 â¢ Implement/Manage Program Figure 2-4. Program management process phases.