Airport crisis management: A more digital, flexible and mobile approach…
Andreas Hedskog, Head of Products and Innovation at 4C Strategies, discusses how the future might move towards a more digital, flexible and mobile approach when it comes to incident control and crisis management.
What challenges do airports face when it comes to incident control and crisis management?
Rising air traffic, increasing customer demands, intense social media exposure and heightened security threats are posing increasingly complex challenges. Establishing and then sharing accurate and timely situational truth is critical to effective decision-making during a major incident or crisis situation. Airports must find ways to integrate their information ‘silos’ and systems, equip staff and third parties with mobile solutions to enable timely communications, and implement tools to visualise crisis data. This will enable effective command and control, and provide a robust audit trail for effective after-action review.
How important is it for on-site staff to be fully trained and prepared for crisis situations?
Training and exercises are fundamental to building safety, security and resilience capability that goes beyond plans, procedures and checklists. These activities equip stakeholders with the necessary tools, experience and confidence to respond to the unexpected in a coordinated manner. However, while managers recognise the need for training, exercises often lack a structured, measurable and data-driven methodology to track progress, understand current strengths and visualise risks across airport teams and operations. Technology can help airports exploit captured data to expose risks against specific crisis readiness objectives.
How does 4C Strategies’ suite of tools help with incident management?
4C Strategies’ Exonaut™ software suite provides a mobile, integrated and scalable solution for aviation risk, quality, incident and crisis management:
- Airport Safety & Operations System (ASOS) is an enterprise-wide platform to manage operations, compliance obligations, tasks, audits, and training exercises. The same easy-to-use tool is used for both day-to-day activities and during a crisis, ensuring familiarity and building a broader safety and security culture
- Incident & Crisis Manager (ICM) is a proven incident and crisis response tool, which simplifies daily reporting and improves situational awareness. The mobile Observer app, automatic notification system, dynamic map view and customisable dashboards of airport activities ensure that the relevant information is available 24/7 both on and off site
- Risk and Incident Manager (RIM) is a user-friendly enterprise risk management solution designed in accordance with the ISO 31000 standard. RIM provides a real-time helicopter view of critical risks and a drill down capability for a detailed review of risk status, treatment status and control effectiveness.
Why is it important for airports to have an efficient but flexible approach to risk management?
Many stakeholders continue to rely on fragmented, time-intensive processes for risk management. Managers are often unable to compare risk across operational areas or compare enterprise risk exposure resulting from their major infrastructure programmes. We see a great deal written about the desire for efficiency across airport operations. When staff and managers have the ability to easily and quickly identify, manage and visualise risks in real-time, the results are smarter decision-making and increased optimisation of risk reserves.
Airports are going through a turbulent period concerning security risks; how do you envisage the industry progressing?
With large numbers of parties involved in making an airport operate effectively and the drive towards automation of airport operations and passenger engagement, we foresee moving towards a more digital, flexible and mobile approach to crisis management and, more generally, resilience. We see technology strengthening the community approach to running an airport, both during Business as Usual and during crisis situations. If airports improve information sharing, increase the speed of communications, and enhance the effectiveness of all decision-making, they will have the resilience they need, whatever the environment throws at them.
About Andreas Hedskog
Andreas Hedskog is a founding partner and Head of Products and Innovation at 4C Strategies, a leading international provider of risk and crisis management solutions. Andreas has over 15 years’ experience delivering readiness solutions across sectors, supporting the aviation industry through work with London Gatwick, Copenhagen Airports, Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic.