Avinor is a wholly state-owned limited liability company under the authority of the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications and is responsible for the 45 state-owned airports and air navigation services for civilian and military aviation in Norway.
Avinor’s airports vary by size and traffic volume. Oslo airport is by far the largest and accounts for more than half of Norway’s air traffic and just over 70 per cent of the country’s total international traffic. Stavanger, Bergen, and Trondheim also have a sizeable proportion of direct international traffic. In total 53 million passengers traveled to or from Avinor’s airports in 2017. They employ 3,300 staff.
Avinor’s four main airports in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim have been operating their own installations of CIM, while the central operational crisis management unit had a fifth, shared installation with strategic crisis management staff. The 40+ smaller airports scattered all over Norway, were still on manual paper based contingency plans, without the support of a software system for managing incidents.
Johan Lindstrøm, Senior Adviser Quality and Compliance at Avinor says:
”At that time 42 smaller airports based their tactical crisis management on manual contingency plans and documentation. They had the local expertise, but no local software system for managing incidents and reporting.”
When there was an incident, local staff would be in charge, with backup from the central crisis management team. But small local tactical staff need to focus on handling the incident rather than documenting it. This sometimes resulted in reduced quality of the documentation, making it harder to collate the vital audit trail for post-incident analysis and gain experience and best practice from previous incidents and knowledge sharing, Lindstrøm says:
”Airport operations are strictly controlled by rules and regulations. Being able to document our actions after an incident has occurred, is therefore crucial.”
Avinor’s initial plan was to have one CIM installation for the smaller airports to share, bringing the number of CIM installations up to six. But they soon decided to merge all of these in to one CIM, which would handle all incidents across all airports.
The new, common CIM installation was based on experience from the use of CIM at the main airports and for central crisis
management, Lindstrøm says:
”Four of our airports had used CIM for quite some time and had set up their unique installations. The new CIM had to meet all the needs they had identified with their previous installations and also have an interface the users were familiar with. We finally combined the use of menus and icons to make navigation more logical and user friendly.”
The implementation of multiple CIM installations into one, has proved to be successful, Lindstrøm says:
”We now have every single incident documented in the same place. And we are better prepared for handling of issues no matter at which of our airports they should happen. Central operational staff now also have better updates and information for their decision-making.”
CIM is used during daily operations at Oslo Airport, where the firefighters use the ”Fire Log” on a daily basis, documenting everyday actions. In case of an incident Avinor has set up an alerting structure so that everyone knows whom to inform and at the same time, where a person’s responsibility starts and ends, Lindstrøm says:
“It’s always the tower that sends out the first alert. They are very well drilled in emergency procedures and have the best general overview of any situation. The tower then calls the operations centre, who sends a notification through CIM to all relevant personnel, based on the type of incident that has been recorded- this can be via SMS, voice or email. For example, when a major incident or potential major incident is declared, this would mobilise all levels of the response team. For something smaller, only the operational and tactical levels may receive the alert.”
Avinor also uses the VTS analysis module for risk assessment and for running exercises using CIM, Lindstrøm says:
”The smaller airports use CIM purely as a crisis management system and luckily, we don’t have many incidents. But we practice our scramble system every month at all airports, and airport managers often have tasks connected to that monthly drill. These exercises, where we train and prepare for incidents and accidents are vital for us. In both exercises and real incidents, the logs and information boards in CIM help us get a situation update, gain control and be able to act much faster than before.”
|Image: Andreas Lind, Avinor|
Even though safety and preparedness within CIM is a continually evolving process, Avinor shows that there is virtually no limit as to how much CIM can support your preparedness and response function. Lindstrøms advice: Start with the fundamentals and build as you go.