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24/7 Software Blog

“For the first time, U.S. airports would be required to develop detailed plans to deal with crises like last year’s Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, under legislation introduced Monday by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” writes Megan O’Matz in their recent SunSentinal article entitled “Airport safety bill introduced in response to Fort Lauderdale shootings.”

According to O’Matz, “the legislation requires major airports to build expansive operation centers in which police, airport managers, airline representatives and others can work side by side, using advanced technology to monitor airport activities and respond more quickly to emergencies.”

“The legislation also forces airports to submit security plans to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that include detailed training programs for active threats, crowd management, mass evacuations, and restarting operations. The congresswoman wants airports nationwide to improve how they communicate information in a crisis to airlines, passengers, ground transportation crews, the media and others,” the article explains.

We could not agree more.

Every life counts, and it’s your responsibility to put the best practices in place on your property to ensure the safety of your customers – passengers and visitors.

O’Matz continues later in the article that “four South Florida Democratic representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of Wasserman Schultz’s bill, called the Airport Advanced Logistics, Emergency Response and Training Act — or ALERT.”

This legislation sounds like Proactive Operations to us.

What do you think?

One thing is for sure: you need to be ready for it – and we’re going to help!

“National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking into whether the engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed south of Seattle Monday morning may have been distracted by a second Amtrak employee in the cab of the locomotive,” writes David Schaper in his recent NPR article entitled “Derailment Probe Looks At Speed, As Critics Cite Amtrak's 'Lax Safety Culture.”

According to Schaper, “Investigators also are trying to determine why no brakes were activated by the engineer. The emergency brake activated automatically only as part of the train began to go off the rails.”

Schaper continues in his article that “answering those questions may help investigators determine the most important question of all: Why the Amtrak train was speeding along at 80 mph where it derailed — a curve and overpass over Interstate 5 near DuPont, Wash., with a speed limit of just 30 mph.”

What a stressful situation for this crew to handle.

Can you feel the anxiety? We can.

But, that’s not it. There were casualties.

“The airport on Indonesia's major tourist island of Bali has temporarily reopened after a three-day shutdown, even as an erupting volcano continues to spew ash, blocking flight paths and prompting evacuation calls,” writes Scott Neuman in their recent NPR article entitled “Bali's Airport To Reopen As Volcano Continues To Belch And Rumble.”

“Shortly after officials had extended closure of the airport at Denpasar for another day, they suddenly reversed their decision and announced that it would reopen,” Neuman continues.

We’re thankful for this goods news.

But, can you imagine the responsibility?

The volcano continues to threaten the island, so we know everyone is on high alert.

We know your airport is charged with preparing for emergencies. Maybe not like this but critical still.

How would you handle a critical decision-making situation such as this? We understand if you can’t answer.

You’re not prepared for this type of emergency.

This event got us thinking seriously about your airport operation, though.

Not just about the possibility of a volcanic eruption – because we know it’s not common among all airports.

But, all airports are required to put the right measures in place to keep visitors, passengers, and staff safe.

“A commuter train outside Philadelphia smashed into a parked train car, hurting 42 passengers early Tuesday, but an official said none of the injuries were life-threatening,” according to Scott Neuman’s recent NPR article entitled “More Than 40 People Injured In Train Crash Near Philadelphia.”

Neuman explains, “The collision happened just after midnight at the 69th Street Terminal Center in Upper Darby, Pa., about 10 miles west of Philadelphia, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority spokeswoman Heather Redfern told Reuters.”

“The Norristown High Speed Line train was pulling into the station when it hit a second, unoccupied train car. The operator was among those injured, she said,” Neuman writes.

"The injuries appeared to be non-life threatening for all passengers and the operator," Redfern said. ‘It's all under investigation at this point,” the article continues.

According to the article, “The Associated Press quotes Upper Darby Mayor Nicholas Micozzie as saying that four of those hurt were in critical condition.”

“In February, four people were injured at the same terminal when a train smashed into the back of another train. And, in 2015, an Amtrak train derailed near Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring 180,” Neuman explains further in the article.

We’re grateful to know this incident did not result in any deaths.

But, it did get us thinking about how your transportation authority is handling events like this.

And, how you should be handling these incidents.

“Canceled flights, kerfuffles at the ticket counter, clashes with local law enforcement — it's fair to say that neither customers nor Spirit Airlines staff members intended their night to unfold this way at Florida's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport,” writes Colin Dwyer in their latest NPR article entitled “Brouhaha Breaks Out At Spirit Airlines' Ticket Counter. Here's The Back Story.”

“Yet that's precisely the scene that hit social media Monday, as cellphone footage depicting the fallout found eyeballs around the world. Naturally, widespread media coverage followed soon afterward,” the article continues.

It gets worse, though.

According to Dwyer, “Before long, images of customers irate over the cancellation of nine flights had spattered across Twitter and Instagram.”

But, what caused this nightmare?

“It's just the latest incident in a series of black eyes for the airline industry — including so many recorded confrontations that even Congress got involved last week. But the skirmishes that broke out between passengers, employees and Broward County deputies Monday night called attention to a different set of circumstances: a deepening dispute between the airline and many of its pilots,” explains Dwyer.

We see here that the plot thickens, and the airport is not to blame.

But, the incident did occur at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, which immediately becomes a cause for concern.

According to a recent NPR article entitled 'It Was A Mistake Of Epic Proportions,' United CEO Testifies and written by Camila Domonoske & David Schaper, the CEO of United Airlines was “in the hot seat on Capitol Hill” Tuesday morning.

The NPR article states that CEO Oscar Munoz was “answering pointed questions from members of Congress about last month's incident in which a United passenger was dragged off a plane.”

"’It was a mistake of epic proportions,’ United CEO Oscar Munoz told representatives, as he explained how United has changed its rules moving forward. ‘In hindsight, clearly our policies broke down," explains Munoz in the article.

We agree with both statements. But, did this “mistake of epic proportions” or the ‘policy breakdown’ need to happen?

No - which is why many other airlines were questioned.

Domonoske and Schaper’s article explains that “executives from other airlines” were present as well during the examination.

Their report says that Congress scrutinized “customer service problems across the commercial aviation industry and considers legislation to better protect airline passengers.”

Why does it always take a devastating incident to drive change? Why don’t you regularly review your processes to avoid potential breakdowns altogether?