Airports’ Crisis Management Processes and Stakeholders Involved

  • Vasiliki Mantzana Center for Security Studies (KEMEA)
  • Eftichia Georgiou Center for Security Studies (KEMEA)
  • Ioannis Chasiotis Center for Security Studies (KEMEA)
  • Ilias Gkotsis Center for Security Studies (KEMEA)
  • Tim H. Stelkens-Kobsch Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
  • Vasileios Kazoukas Center for Security Studies (KEMEA)
  • Nikolaos Papagiannopoulos Athens International Airport S.A (AIA)
  • Anastasios Nikas Athens International Airport S.A (AIA)
  • Filippos Komninos Athens International Airport S.A (AIA)
Keywords: airport, crisis management process, stakeholders


Airports are exposed to various physical incidents that can be classified as aviation and non-aviation related incidents, including terrorist attacks, bombings, natural disasters (e.g. earthquake or tsunami and man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks) etc. (Kanyi, Kamau, & Mireri, 2016). In addition to this, cyber-attacks to airport operations are emerging especially with the increasing use of Information Systems (IS), such as electronic tags for baggage handling and tracking, remote check-in, smart boarding gates, faster and more reliable security screening technologies and biometric immigration controls etc. Any physical or cyber incident that causes loss of infrastructure or massive patient surge, such as natural disasters, terrorist acts, or chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive hazards could affect the airports’ services provision and could cause overwhelming pressure. During the crisis management, several stakeholders that have different needs and requirements, get involved in the process, trying to cooperate, respond and support recovery and impact mitigation. The aim of this paper is to present a holistic security agenda that defines the stakeholders involved in the respective processes followed during the crisis management cycle. This agenda is based both on normative literature, such as relevant standards, guidelines, and practices and on knowledge and feedback extrapolated from a case study conducted in the context of the SATIE project (H2020-GA832969).  In meeting paper’s aim, initially the normative review of the phases of the crisis management cycle (preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation) in the context of airports as well as general practices applied, are presented. Moreover, the key airport stakeholders and operation centres involved in airports operations, as well as during the crisis management are analysed. By combining the information collected, a holistic cyber and physical crisis management cycle including the stakeholders and the relevant processes are proposed. The crisis management process is taken into consideration into the SATIE project, which aims to build a security toolkit in order to protect critical air transport infrastructures against combined cyber-physical threats. This toolkit will rely on a complete set of semantic rules that will improve the interoperability between existing systems and enhanced security solutions, in order to ensure more efficient threat prevention, threat and anomaly detection, incident response and impact mitigation, across infrastructures, populations and environment.


Kanyi, P., Kamau, P., & Mireri, C. (2016). Assessment of the appropriateness and adequacy of the existing physical infrastructure in mitigating aviation risks at Wilson Airport, Kenya. IOSR J. Humanit. Social. Sci., pp. 51-62.

SESAR. (2018). Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PJ04 TAM (Total Airport Management).

Endsley, M. (1995). A taxonomy of situation awareness errors, human factors in aviation operations. 21st Conference of the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP), (pp. 287-292).

Airport Cooperative Research. (2016). Emergency Communications Planning for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

British Standard Institute (BSI). (2014). BS11200: Crisis Management – guidance and good practice. London, UK: BSI.

European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). (2016). Securing Smart Airports. Retrieved from ENISA:

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute. (2014). Project Responder 4: 2014 National Technology Plan for Emergency Response to Catastrophic Incidents. Retrieved from

Levent, K., Turan, K., Mehmet, E., Mesut, O., Hakan, Y. (2007). Chemical release at the airport and lessons learned from the medical perspective. J. Hazard. Mater., 144, pp. 396–399.

National Academies of Sciences, E. a. (2016). Emergency Communications Planning for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

National Academies of Sciences. (2015). Guidebook on Best Practices for Airport Cybersecurity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

How to Cite
Mantzana, V., Georgiou, E., Chasiotis, I., Gkotsis, I., Stelkens-Kobsch, T. H., Kazoukas, V., Papagiannopoulos, N., Nikas, A., & Komninos, F. (2020). Airports’ Crisis Management Processes and Stakeholders Involved. Annals of Disaster Risk Sciences, 3(1).