Edinburgh Airport has deployed Everbridge’s Critical Event Management (CEM) platform to boost the efficiency of its communications during emergencies, through replacing and simplifying multiple manual processes.

The deployment of the CEM platform has been split into two phases. The first has automated the management of critical incidents and allowed the Airport to migrate from having multiple processes to deliver information to the many different organisations that have to work together to deal with emergencies at the airport to just one platform.

These organisations include: the emergency services, the airlines that are serving the airport, on-site retail outlets, and support agencies including Transport Scotland and Edinburgh City Council, who are involved with resilience planning.

The second phase – ‘Airport Control Futures’ – will explore how technology such as perimeter security and fire alarms can be integrated with the Everbridge platform.

The deployment follows swiftly on the heels of the airport’s review of its critical communications infrastructure, partly based on recent events, and a commitment to improve its critical communications as part of a focus on using innovation to streamline operations and enhance passenger journeys.

“There were two incidents that helped to shape our review of critical communications at the airport,” said Myles Grima, senior operations & resilience manager, airport operations & assurance at Edinburgh Airport. “The first was a tram accident on our campus. While it thankfully only resulted in minor injuries, it caused disruption and restrictions to the tram service from Edinburgh City Centre to the airport. We also experienced a major Scottish Power outage which affected the airport, and this is always a threat to the smooth running of operations. Finally, we organised a counter-terrorism exercise involving over 20 organisations and 400 people. These three events gave us a huge amount of insight and enabled us to consider how technology could be used to improve our response overall.”

“Previously our challenge was getting the right information to the right people,” continued Grima. “To be more effective, we needed to improve efficiency and eliminate duplication. We are now doing this with Everbridge, and we can now accurately communicate with all the people who work on site in every operational area and manage this through a single, integrated view to mitigate the impact of critical events. By using Everbridge, we are aiming to set new benchmarks in aviation incident management.”

“I have been involved with crisis teams for about eight years and encountered all sorts of events and emergencies. Even at phase one of the Everbridge implementation, we can really see the potential of the solution and this is very exciting for us…” Grima said.

Imad Mouline, CTO at Everbridge, said: “We have a great deal of experience providing 76 of North America’s 100 busiest airports with the support they need to manage critical events and emergency responses. We are delighted to be at the heart of Edinburgh Airport’s commitment to setting new standards for incident management.”

Edinburgh Airport Ltd is Scotland’s busiest airport. It accommodates 14.3 million passengers each year and is worth more than £1 billion to the Scottish economy.

Author: Sam Fenwick