The below guidelines are provided for media covering the activity of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority and reporting at Port Columbus, Rickenbacker and Bolton Field airports.
- General media procedures
- Port Columbus & Rickenbacker information
- Emergency situations
- Useful contact information
- Role of various agencies during an incident
If you're a member of the media and need additional information, please contact Angie Tabor, Manager of Communications & Media Relations, for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, at (614) 239-4081. Non-media questions should be directed to 614-239-4000.
General Media Procedures
The Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) recognizes the valuable role that the media plays in our society and our community. The media is a key resource in sharing information with the public about the operation of Port Columbus, Rickenbacker and Bolton Field airports. The Airport Authority seeks to facilitate media coverage to the fullest extent possible as long as that coverage does not interfere with the safety, security and operation of the airports.
All media inquiries should be directed to the Manager of Communications & Media Relations at (614) 239-4081. The Manager of Communications & Media Relations, currently Angie Tabor, will answer questions and assist in arranging interviews. Every effort will be made to respond to media requests within a reasonable timeframe.
Interviews with Airport Authority personnel are established by the Manager of Communications & Media Relations, who may handle the interview directly or designate another Airport Authority employee to speak on a given subject. The most efficient means of scheduling an interview is to speak with the Manager of Communications & Media Relations. Other Airport Authority employees contacted directly by the media will route the call to the Manager of Communications & Media Relations, thereby resulting in a delayed response time.
Parking at Port Columbus
While on media business, media outlets are permitted to park vehicles on the ticketing level’s South Pad at any time to facilitate convenient, no-cost access to the terminal. The South Pad has a clearance height of 12 feet.
Upon arrival to the South Pad, call the Communications Center at (614) 239-4029 to arrange for a vehicle inspection. Someone must stay with the vehicle until it is inspected, which should take about one minute. Once the vehicle has been inspected, a color-coded permit will be placed in the vehicle’s dashboard. Any unattended vehicle parked on the South Pad that does not have a color-coded permit is subject to immediate towing.
Media also have the option of parking their vehicles in the garage (9-foot clearance height for Level Six) or shuttle lots (11 feet, 6 inch clearance height) at normal rates and without required vehicle inspections.
Access Inside Port Columbus
Members of the media are permitted in public circulation areas only, such as the ticketing and baggage claim areas. The Airport Authority cannot give media permission to access leased space such as airline areas or food and retail establishments. Permission to enter these areas must be arranged with the company that leases the space.
Security protocol as established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows only ticketed passengers through the security checkpoint. Therefore, media are not permitted access past security checkpoints and not allowed to videotape or photograph checkpoint operations without the express permission of the TSA.
Reporting Live at Port Columbus
Media are welcome to conduct live broadcasts within the terminal in the recessed area across from the south bank of ticket counters. This location provides an area to store video equipment while not in use and provides an excellent visual backdrop for the reporters as they conduct their live shots. Live shots are limited to this area so as to not impede the operations of the airport, airlines or tenants. Any cabling run to this location must be against the walls and taped down to minimize hazards. Various locations outside the terminal and on airport property are available for live shots, including the top of the parking garage.
Rickenbacker International & Bolton Field Airports
Requests for access to Rickenbacker and Bolton Field, including live shots, should be directed to the Manager of Communications & Media Relations.
Port Columbus & Rickenbacker Information
The Columbus Regional Airport Authority provides a smarter and easier way to connect Ohio with the world by overseeing the operation of passenger-focused Port Columbus International Airport (CMH), cargo-focused Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK), and general aviation airport Bolton Field (TZR).
An independent economic impact study completed in 2012 found that the three airports and select businesses with direct ties to the Airport Authority account for more than 54,000 jobs, $1.8 billion in annual payroll and $6.6 billion in total annual economic output.
Port Columbus International Airport (CMH)
4600 International Gateway, Columbus, OH 43219
Opened in 1929, Port Columbus connects Ohio with the world by offering passenger air service to meet the needs of business and leisure travelers. Located 7 minutes from downtown, Port Columbus is known for its accessibility and ease of use.
Served by 5 major airlines
• Air Canada Express
• American/US Airways
• Offers about 150 daily departures to 32 destinations (numbers vary on a daily basis)
• Served more than 6 million passengers in 2013
• 2 parallel runways [north runway (10L-28R) - 8,000' x 150' and south runway (10R-28L) - 10,250' x 150']
• Supports 33,464 jobs with an annual payroll of $1.1 billion
• Creates an annual economic output of $3.7 billion
Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK)
2241 John Circle Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43217
Rickenbacker Inland Port is a global multi-modal logistics hub with an unparalleled location for distribution to U.S. and Canadian consumers. At the heart of the inland port is Rickenbacker International Airport, one of the world’s few cargo-dedicated airports in the world. The airport also offers limited passenger air service through the charter terminal.
• More than 157 million pounds of cargo moved through LCK in 2013
• Nearly 14,5000 total passengers traveled through the charter terminal in 2013
• Cargo service by FedEx, UPS, Cargolux, Kalitta Air, AirNet and others
• Passenger service by Allegiant Air and ad hoc charters
• 2 parallel runways [(unway 5R/23L 12,102’ x 200’ and runway 5L/23R 12,001’ x 150’)
Economic impact of LCK and select off-airport businesses with direct ties to the airport
• Supports 20,604 jobs with an annual payroll of $782.5 million
• Creates an annual economic output of $2.804 billion
An emergency is an unexpected incident that triggers a real, perceived or possible threat to life, equipment, property, airport operations, and/or the environment. An emergency could include, but is not limited to, the following: aircraft incident, radiological incident, terrorism, bomb threat, hjijacking, shooting, fire, natural disaster and more.
In the event of an emergency, CRAA’s priorities will be safety of persons, protection of equipment and property, and salvage.
CRAA may use social media as a means to share information with the public and the media in the event of a crisis. An initial news briefing will be held as soon as possible.
The Columbus Regional Airport Authority will be the source of the following information when available, applicable and confirmed:
- Date, time and location of the incident
- Type of aircraft involved or at risk
- Airport property involved or at risk
- Airline(s)/aircraft operator(s) involved in the accident/incident
- Flight number
- Flight destination
- Flight origin
- Number of people aboard the aircraft
- General description of the incident and review of confirmed facts
- General status of the passengers
- Status of the aircraft
- Impact on airport operations
- Description of emergency efforts by Authority crews
- Information regarding assistance and support from other agencies
- Details on additional briefings
Note: At no time will the Authority speculate on the cause of an incident. All other information will be provided by a representative of the involved airline/aircraft operator and/or the appropriate agency.
Useful Contact Information
Role of Various Agencies During an Incident
The Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996 spells out many legal requirements of various federal agencies, air carriers, the American Red Cross and others in the event of a major aviation incident. The below is a listing of the major roles of various agencies and the kind of information they will provide to the public/media. It’s important to note these agencies often hold many other responsibilities during an aviation disaster, but these are the roles most critical for the CRAA Communications Department to know.
Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA)
CRAA has the responsibility to manage emergencies on airport property. Emergency management encompasses mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. CRAA’s fire, medical, operations and police crews will be the initial responders to the scene of an incident located on airport property. Mutual aid shall be provided by emergency responder units from surrounding communities when necessary.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
The FAA’s Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) has the initial responsibility for responding to all aircraft accidents/incidents and determining the need for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). FSDO will be in charge of the accident/incident investigation until a representative of the NTSB arrives on scene. The FAA will be the source of information for relevant communications between the air traffic control tower and the pilot of the aircraft involved in the incident.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
The NTSB is the federal agency responsible for investing aircraft incidents. The agency takes custody of the aircraft and its contents from the time the fire/rescue activities are concluded until a full investigation is completed. Upon the arrival of the NTSB investigating team, the CRAA manager of Communications & Media Relations may assume a support role to the NTSB at their request.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has been designated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to serve as the functional leadership of family care during an aviation incident, including the establishment of a Family Assistance Center (FAC). The FAC is the focus of services for family members when they travel to the accident location. A FAC is designed to meet the immediate and short-term needs of family members.
Passenger information, including a list of passengers and crew members, is the responsibility of the involved airline/aircraft operator. The airline is obligated to provide the manifest to the NTSB. The airline is under no further obligation to release the manifest, including no legal obligation to release the manifest to the media. Also, the carrier is under no other obligation to publically release a victim’s name if family members request otherwise. Among other things, the airline/air carrier is also required to provide a public, toll-free telephone number to be used by those who believe a family member or friend was on a flight with an incident.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The FBI has investigative jurisdiction in cases involving hijackings, airline sabotage, attempted sabotage and bomb threats. The FBI will have jurisdiction if a hijacking or hostage situation occurs aboard an aircraft that is considered to not be in flight.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
The TSA is responsible for all checkpoint screening and federally-regulated security operations at Port Columbus International Airport and Rickenbacker International Airport. The TSA will have jurisdiction in the event of a hijacking or a hostage situation aboard an aircraft in flight, which includes an aircraft on the ground with the doors closed. The TSA may provide a support role in the investigation of an aircraft incident if terrorism or hijacking is suspected whether the aircraft is or is not in flight.
County Coroner’s Office
The county Coroner’s Office or a designated medical examiner has the legal responsibility to identify the victims of an aviation disaster and is legally responsible for determining cause and manner of death. At the request of the coroner’s office, the NTSB can request the services of a Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) to assist with these roles, including family management and identification of victims.
Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT)
DMORTs are composed of civilian funeral directors, medical examiners, coroners, pathologists, forensic anthropologists, fingerprint specialists, forensic deontologists, dental assistants and radiographers. They are supported by medical records technicians and transcribers, mental health specialists, computer professionals, administrative support staff as well as security and investigative personnel. DMORTs work under the local jurisdictional authorities such as coroner, though when activated, DMORT personnel are paid as temporary Federal employees.