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Fri, Apr 02, 2004

New Interactive Crisis Communications For Airports

Who You Gonna Call?

When a crisis occurs at a commercial airport, how do officials communicate quickly and efficiently with emergency response teams, reporters, regulators and the public? The Manahan Group (TMG), a Charleston (WV) advertising and public relations firm and its web development partner,, have come up with a new online communications system -- AirAlert™ -- that it says will revolutionize crisis response at airports in the US, Canada, England and Mexico.

"AirAlert™ is designed so that one airport employee can manage a streamlined communications system during a crisis," said George Manahan, CEO of The Manahan Group. Manahan spoke to participants at the 4th International Symposium on Aviation Emergencies in Weehawken (NJ).

AirAlert™ is a powerful web-based communications solution for airports, enabling managers to quickly communicate important information to multiple audiences simultaneously.

"AirAlert™ provides reporters, travelers, citizens and government regulators with comprehensive, up-to-the-minute airport information," said Albert Iannantuono, president and CEO of "In a crisis, AirAlert™ becomes a single, trustworthy source and point of contact - freeing managers to address the situation at hand."

The beta version of AirAlert™ was recently developed and delivered to Yeager Airport in Charleston (WV) and is now available to airports in the US, UK, Canada and Mexico. In the US, airports can be reimbursed for up to 90 percent of AirAlert's™ cost through the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program (A.I.P.).

Manahan said the AirAlert™ system is designed to send anyone seeking information regarding the airport emergency to a crisis-specific web site. The goal of the product is to free up communication manager(s) from constant phone calls and requests for duplicative information. Once the response is posted on the web site, everyone, including reporters, travelers and regulators, has the ability to access it.

The AirAlert™ system will allow airport managers to:

  • Immediately contact the airport's emergency operations team through just about any communication device, including: pager, text messaging, e-mail, PDA or telephone;
  • Allow the airport's Emergency Operations Committee members to securely communicate with each other during a crisis;
  • Send e-Alerts detailing the incident and any updates to pre- established lists of internal and external audiences; and
  • Manage an airport-specific web site where reporters, travelers, citizens and others can access the latest information during the crisis.

"Today, airports must be able to communicate with many different groups fast and efficiently," said Yeager Airport Director Rick Atkinson. "The AirAlert™ system is the first product I've seen that accomplishes all of the communication goals of airports."



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