National Academies Press: OpenBook

Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports (2017)

Chapter: Chapter 4 - Exploring Options

« Previous: Chapter 3 - Conducting a Needs Assessment
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Exploring Options." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24763.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Exploring Options." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24763.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Exploring Options." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24763.
×
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Page 37
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Exploring Options." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24763.
×
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Page 38
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Exploring Options." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24763.
×
Page 38
Page 39
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Exploring Options." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24763.
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34 This chapter covers steps airports can follow when considering internal and external partnerships/relationships. Completing these steps requires thinking about ways to gather information from stakeholder/recipient groups. These groups’ existing system’s notifica- tion functionalities may or may not be fully utilized. Airports are advised to explore whether any additional existing systems with notification functionalities can be leveraged. This guidebook provides resources that airports can adapt for use as they explore options. These resources are labeled EO-1, EO-2, and so forth. Resources EO-1 through EO-6 are pro- vided in Appendix E in the section labeled “OPDG for Exploring Options.” Resource EO-7 is an overview checklist that can be used by the PMT or PPT, and is provided at the close of this chapter. Steps in Exploring Options Step 1: Determine how to gather information from stakeholder/recipient groups. One way to gather the necessary information is through a steering committee with represen- tation from each of the identified stakeholder/recipient groups. If this is not practical, the PMT will need to explore other options. It may be possible to gather this information using internal and external stakeholder surveys, work groups, and/or interviews. Leveraging good relationships will assist in this process. Step 2: Inventory existing tenant/stakeholder systems, methods, and tools. Knowledge about tenant/stakeholder capabilities may allow the PMT to suggest alter- native approaches for some notification procedures. The ability to work with tenant/ stakeholder partners can be a cost-effective approach to increasing an airport’s notification capabilities. • Airports are advised to consider conducting an inventory of the systems/methods/tools of the following tenants/stakeholders (if possible): – Military agencies, – TSA, – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), – Airlines, – FBOs, and – Corporate tenants. See Resource EO-1 (in Appendix E) See Resource EO-2 (in Appendix E) C h a p t e r 4 Exploring Options

exploring Options 35 Step 3: Explore internal partnerships/relationships that can help in the development of a comprehensive notification program. Leveraging resources through agreements and sound partnerships/relationships is a cost- effective practice that airports are encouraged to consider. • Airports also can consider developing agreements with the following internal partners/ relationship groups (as feasible): – Airline emergency managers, – Federal agency representatives (i.e., TSA, FAA, CBP, etc.), – Public information officers, – Maintenance groups, – Concessionaires, – Tenants, – Fire/ARFF, – FBOs, and – Police. Step 4: Explore external partnerships/relationships that can help in the development of a comprehensive notification program. Airports also can consider developing agreements/partnerships/relationships with external agencies with existing notification networks such as: • The National Weather Service, • Regional emergency management agencies, • Other federal agencies, • Local government officials, • Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), • Highway transportation departments, • Transit authorities, • Public safety answering points (PSAPs), • Schools, and • Hospitals. Step 5: Explore whether any existing airport systems have notification functionalities that could be beneficial if included in the airport’s comprehensive notification program. These systems could include: • Public address systems (PASs), • Fire and life safety systems and equipment, • Radio communication systems, • Distributed recipient notification systems, and • Building management systems. Step 6: Explore whether a new system would significantly address any identified gaps in current notification processes and would better meet notification needs. Once the airport’s notification needs have been examined fully and any gaps are understood, the PMT can research the best available system to fit those needs. Technology solutions can play an important part in any airport’s notification program. When looking for a technological See Resource EO-3 (in Appendix E) See Resource EO-4 (in Appendix E) See Resource EO-5 (in Appendix E) See Resource EO-6 (in Appendix E)

36 Guidebook for preparing public Notification programs at airports solution it is important to identify and understand the essential functions needed for the system to perform. Once these functions are clearly understood, the group can start looking for the system that best provides the needed functionality. Aspects to consider include: • Is the system scaled to meet current needs? • Can the system be scaled to meet anticipated future needs? • What are the system’s resiliency and system characteristics (e.g., reliability, redundancy, mul- tiple sending points, accessibility, system dependencies)? How Will Notifications Be Made? The airport will need to have multiple tools available to make different types of notifications to diverse audiences in various locations. No one tool or method can address the wide range of airport notification needs. The way notifications are made depends on a number of factors. Why does the notification need to be made? Who needs to receive it? What information needs to be sent? Where (at what location) are the people who need to receive the notification? When do they need to receive it? Determining the answers to these and other questions allows an airport to determine how best to deliver notifications to reach the intended audiences. Common Methods and Tools Used to Send Notifications A detailed comparison of the following notification methods and tools can be found in Appendix A: • IPAWS, • Reverse 911, • Direct circuits, • Social media, • Press releases, • Printed communications, • Websites/online portals, • Internal networks/emails, • PASs and FASs, • Telephones (land lines), • Mobile phones (voice), • Mobile phones (text), • Web-enabled mobile devices, • Radios/walkie-talkies, • Runners/messengers, • Programmable signs, • Bullhorns/megaphones, and • Integrated communications platforms. Notification Program Funding Airports must consider how to fund notification programs. The costs associated with the initial acquisition of technology can be significant, not to mention the costs of implementa- tion and ongoing maintenance throughout the product’s lifecycle. Additional costs related to the integration of notification technologies with existing airport systems also should be considered.

exploring Options 37 Public-use airports that are included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) should consider contacting the FAA to determine if Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding may be available to pay for part of the airport’s public notification program. Previously eligible AIP projects have included those that involve improvement programs or systems that contribute to airport safety and security. Airports may choose to use their own revenue streams to purchase notification systems. Such revenue streams often are tied to the jurisdictions within which the airport is located. Airports may receive funding for their systems through city or county emergency manage- ment agencies; however, other grant opportunities exist for airports for which this funding stream is unavailable. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programs are available that may fund the cost of airport notification systems. Grant programs administered by the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) provide funding for states and urban areas to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other threats. Specifically, • The State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) provides funding to support the implementa- tion of risk-driven, capabilities-based state homeland security strategies to address capability targets. States are required to dedicate 25% of SHSP funds to law enforcement terrorism- prevention activities. • The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) provides funding to enhance regional prepared- ness and capabilities in 29 high-threat, high-density areas. States and urban areas are required to dedicate 25% of UASI funds to law enforcement terrorism-prevention activities. • Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) provides funding to enhance cooperation and coordina- tion among Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), local, tribal, territorial, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to enhance security jointly along U.S. land and water borders. Impact of Internet and Social Media In recent years, largely because of the increased importance and use of the Internet, social media networks have undergone explosive growth. For example, the most popular social media site, Facebook, reports 1.59 billion monthly active users (as of December 31, 2015.) High rates of use by the general public make this an important tool for airports to use as part of a public notification strategy. Social networks can be used for several types of notifications; however, airports need to exam- ine closely how these social networks are used to ensure the appropriateness and timeliness of the types of notifications sent via social media. For example, social media users may not check their accounts with the regularity that they might check a mobile phone for a text message. For this reason, social media may be more appropriate for notifications that are more routine and do not require immediate actions by the public for life safety. It is important to integrate social networks as a channel for emergency communications because of the high adoption rates of these large-scale networks and their ability to reach mil- lions of people quickly. Social media networks also can provide an alternative communica- tion route for notifications when wireless and telecom networks experience outages or become clogged with traffic during emergencies. Including social media can add value to an airport’s public notification program at very low additional costs. Sharing emergency and other important information using social media—which are easily accessed by and available to most members of the traveling public—also offers a way for the airport to demonstrate transparency and accountability to the public.

38 Guidebook for preparing public Notification programs at airports Multiple, Back-up, and Redundant Capabilities It is recommended that airports design their public notification programs to include mul- tiple, back-up, and redundant systems. If a system fails, disruption of routine notifications may cause inconvenience or delays; however, in an emergency, any system failure could result in loss of life. For this reason, it is advisable to implement multiple, redundant notifi- cation systems, tools, and techniques to ensure that all mission-critical notifications can be made when needed. With the advent of improved computer-based communications technologies, many notifica- tion tools rely on computer and Internet access and bandwidth. These tools work well until a computer system fails or electrical power or Internet connectivity are lost. A clear understand- ing of notification system dependencies is critical. Having back-up notification methods ready for such an eventuality is important to ensure that the airport does not lose the ability to make notifications. Recognizing the diversity of notifications made to the various categories and locations of potential recipients, it quickly becomes apparent that airports need to have multiple notification methods, tools, and techniques available. When exploring options, the airport’s management and planning teams need to understand that no single method, tool, or technique will work in every potential notification situation. Remote Access If an airport communications center or emergency operations center becomes unavailable, having another facility equipped with everything necessary to make notifications becomes important. If an airport cannot provide for another facility, having the ability to send notifica- tions from remote locations is a consideration. For example, an airport could send notifications from a mobile command vehicle or initiate notifications from a smart phone, tablet computer, or other Internet-connected device. Ensuring Adequate Notification Distribution/Coverage Airports must ensure that their notifications are sent to the intended audiences, regardless of where those people may be (i.e., on or off airport property). When choosing a notification method or technology, the range of coverage must be determined. For example, two-way radios can be effective tools for some notifications, but have limitations to coverage based on factors such as distance, transmitter power, receiver sensitivity, antenna height, variations in terrain, signal obstructions, and interference. In the case of in-terminal PASs, consideration must be given to the ambient (background) noise levels that may prevent the announcements from being heard. Because every notification method or technology is unique, each method has its own range of coverage and other limitations that must be determined prior to implementation. Interface/Integration with Other Systems Although many different types of notification systems, tools, techniques, and procedures exist, some electronic systems may lend themselves to integration with other technologies at the airport. For example, notifications coming from a mass notification system may be integrated with net- worked computers, Voice Over IP (VoIP) phone systems, Multi-User Flight Information Display System (MUFIDS), baggage information display systems (BIDS), CNN-TV, and message display boards throughout the terminals.

exploring Options 39 (Program Planning Team checklist) (Customize table/add rows as necessary) PLANNING THE PROGRAM Yes No Not Sure Not Applicable Collaborated with the airport stakeholders Identified all appropriate stakeholders Identified all stakeholder notification needs Analyzed existing rules and regulations Analyzed existing policies and procedures Analyzed existing agreements Explored new agreements Identified all stakeholder concerns Identified any program obstacles Identified program concerns Assessed whether any new systems/methods/tools need to be procured Considered if existing systems/methods/tools can be integrated into the new program Explored resiliency possibilities Considered continuity of operations for the program Considered all of the risks the airport may encounter Identified physical locations with notification concerns Considered partnerships and relationships Other Other Resource EO-7

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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Prorgram (ACRP) Research Report 170: Guidebook for Preparing Public Notification Programs at Airports offers standards and practices to help airport industry practitioners develop and implement effective programs for delivering both routine notifications as well as incident and emergency-related notifications. The guidance provides readers with the ability to customize their programs to match their unique circumstances.

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