Crisis Management Plan: Military Air Show Event

Crisis Management Plan: Military Air Show Event

Executive Summary

This paper presents a crisis management plan for the 3-day Military Air show in South West England as a guide to response in case of the development of any crisis and is developed by the crisis management team for military function together with the South West England Region Crisis management team. The crisis management team recognizes that crises are possible occurrences in military air shows and thus the need to develop a management plan in advance to prevent damages and control the situations on time if and when they occur. The crisis management plan provides an overview that explains its purpose, function, and parameters as pertains to the military airshow. It also explores the aims and objectives of a crisis management plan in such events as well as defines possible crisis faced in the event and the strategic options available to mitigate and manage them.

Furthermore, the plan includes a crisis vulnerability assessment that offers an evaluation of the exposure of the event to crises including critical internal and external weakness and perceived levels of risk.  The crisis management plan also outlines the compositions and structure of the crisis management team and their respective roles and responsibilities and the lines of communication(Ansoff et al., 2019). Also, the plan provides the crisis activation plan including information verification and call-out procedures, crisis communication and stakeholder management procedures and the deactivation and stand down directives. Ultimately, the plan provides a post-crisis activation and review.



Crisis management is an integral part of an operation conducted by strategic and serious organizations or bodies. A crisis management plan developed at the start of a procedure or event anticipates the probable crisis during the event and thus outlines the allocation of resources such as equipment’s and personnel, activities that will take place in the management of the crisis and assign the roles and responsibilities to the personnel among others (Eriksson &McConnell, 2011, 89). Military performances are prone to crisis and thus the need to develop crisis management plans before the performances to ensure efficiency in crisis management if they arise. This crisis management plan is designed for a 3-day military Air show in South West England that features 220 aircrafts from 32 air arms and is expected to attract 100,000 spectators.

Overview / Rationale

Generally, air displays are subject to high regulations and require risk management controls due to the volatile nature of air displays and aircrafts. Military air shows are civic events that involve the display of military aircrafts through aerobatics demonstrations. For that reason, there is a need for safety for both the military and the public. Military air shows are high risk events externally given a large number of audiences they attract and the attention it attracts from the outside world. Also, the internal risks with the aircrafts and the systems prevail. Air display risks stem from low to high risks margins thus the need for the development of crisis management plans beforehand to ensure preparedness in case of an unexpected occurrence during the air show.



A Crisis refers to happenings that have a low probability of occurring but in case of occurrence result to high impact that threatens the integrity and viability of an operation or ongoing event (Nevada Small Business, 2019).

Crisis management(CM) refers to the processes and the steps taken by those in charge of the planned event to ensure safety and prevention or minimization of damage in case a crisis arises.

Crisis management plan (CMP) is the detailed report or an instructive document that directs crisis management in a defined situation detailing the approaches, activities, personnel, equipment, strategies, and step by step executions to manage a crisis(Coombs, 2014).

Crisis management team (CMT) refers to the personnel and representatives from the relevant bodies or organizations in charge of an event that is responsible for developing the crisis management plan and overseeing its execution.

Aims CM / CMT

  • To provide an effective summary of the event
  • Analyze the potential threats and possible solutions
  • To ensure the highest possible level of safety
  • To prevent or reduce damage in a crisis
  • To coordinate and distribute resources in the event of a crisis
  • To facilitate control as a crisis unfolds
  • To dictate roles and responsibilities in a crisis
  • Analyze the potential threats and possible solution


  • Ensure a safety and action plan in case of a crisis during the air show
  • Uphold the regulations and provisions for air safety as required by aviation regulations

CMT Who / Why /What

All crisis management team members are senior management and experienced personnel in their respective roles with the CMT. The CMT will include crisis manager, The South West England regional CM team communication manager, human resource manager, medical practitioner, crisis management advisor, Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Advisor, administrative support manager, and a security manager. Each of the CMT personnel has a team working under them on call in case of a crisis to facilitate the management process (Technical Planning response, 2012, n.p). The CMT is critical to ensuring the effectiveness of the CM process through coordinating and facilitating the execution of activities and roles strategically and efficiently in the areas they represent.



CMT – Structure

(Technical Planning Response. 2012) Incident command system






Roles/Responsibilities – Key Duties

Crisis manager-Mr. Harvey Lee

  1. Manage all teams and guide the crisis management process
  2. Facilitate rapid response to a crisis by coordinating all teams
  3. Encourage and promote teamwork to resolve adequately and efficiently
  4. Holds the final directive on decisions needed and makes the rapid critical decisions on the Cm process even with limited information (Long, 2018, n.p).

The South West England regional CM team led by Spencer Tigan

  1. Support the process at the local level
  2. Inform the CMT of the region-specific risks and issues and manage them
  3. Coordinate local resources to facilitate the process (Technical response planning, 2012, n.d).
  4. Communication manager- Allan Wells
  5. Communicate the aspects of the crisis to the public and offer updates
  6. Answer any public relations questions as the spokesperson of the CMT

Human resource manager-Jeanie Lilly

  1. Maintain and contact personnel as required in the CM process
  2. Ensure personnel is well equipped and skilled for the tasks

Medical practitioner-Dr. Patel Priyanka

  1. Oversee the handling and assist in any health-related impacts

Crisis management advisor-Alice woo

  1. Coordinate and oversee support roles
  2. Ensure the preparedness of the CM center

Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Advisor- Michael Justin

  1. Facilitate and manage the implementation of response plans
  2. Manage training and updates of incident response plans

Administrative support manager – Sebastian Liam

  1. Handle logistics and ensure the teams are well equipped by availing the necessary resources

Security manager- William Brandon

  1. Control and maintain order with the public during the crisis
  2. Disseminate security protocols and procedures accordingly (Technical response Planning, 2012).

Call Out Procedures/Plan Activation

A crisis may arise unexpectedly and the military air show, and there is the risk of being uninformed about the crisis to make critical decisions on time. The plan activation will be executed under the authority of the crisis manager who will instruct the team representatives on how to direct their teams. Therefore, the call out procedure is standard to any crisis that may arise during or before the South West England military air show. The crisis management plan will be activated through the five phases of plan activation (firestorm Team, 2014, n.p). The first phase of the plan activation is the pre-auction phase which includes preparing and making decisions to prevent or reduce damage in the event of a crisis. The second phase is the onset phase which entails avoiding the escalation of the crisis through detection, early response, and instantaneous communication (firestorm Team, 2014, n.p). The third phase is the impact assessment stage which involved a preface evaluation of the damage in assessing the extent of the effect on operations and the spectators. The third face activities are likely to be affected at the same time as the onset phase activities are being carried out. The fourth stage is the response and recovery phase which entails the implementation of the critical plan procedures such as recovery processes and activating the strategies for restoration (firestorm Team, 2014, n.p). The last stage is the post-crisis stage which involves reviewing the actions taken and making recommendations necessary for future improvements and increased efficiency.

Communication is continuous throughout the plan activation among the CMT and with the public to keep them updated and ease any tension. The communication modes that will be used will include the use of telephone calls, messages, and face to face communications.  Cancellation of the air show in case of identification of critical threats before the commencing of the air shows such as terrorist risks is advised (firestorm Team, 2014, n.p). Also, all risks identified before the air show should be managed beforehand and a lookout throughout for identified potential risks.

Cascade Systems/Flow Chart

(, 2016)









  1. Onset stage

Stabilize the incident as much as possible

Early response

Instantaneous communication


  1. Impact assessment

Assessment of damage and control

Choose the mitigation options to implement

Critical decision making and implementation


  1. Response and recovery

Declaration of crisis by CMT

Recovery and restoration



  1. Post-crisis stage





Control Centre and Management Systems

The control center for the CMT will be based at the South West England regional CM center where all management systems will be based. The control Centre will be open throughout the air show event until it ends and all airplanes are taken back to their respective bases and spectators have left the showground (Boin, Stern& Sundelius, 2016. The control center will have management systems such as visual and audio equipment covering the aerial and ground view of the event area and some distance off the area. Communication systems will also be set up in the control room. The control room will also hold all crisis management facilities that may be required for emergency purposes in the occurrence of a crisis. There will be call handlers and assistant responding and receiving updates from agents on the ground (, 2016).

Crisis Vulnerability Assessments

The crisis vulnerability assessment has been carried out by the crisis management team inclusive of the representatives from the operational teams to ensure risks from all areas are covered. Crisis vulnerability assessments have been carried out to examine the possible risks and threats that would lead to a crisis to develop management approaches for them. Potential high risk but low probability risks include natural disasters such as bad weather, aircraft, and terrorist incidents. Other risks include vandalism, spectators having health issues such as fainting due to the crowding, communication and IT systems failures, pilot errors and pilot stunts going wrong (Topham, 2016). All the systems have to be counter checked before the start of the air show to minimize system failures. In case of possible weather crisis or terrorist incidents, the air crafts will stand d down, and the event ended. There will be adequate security to manage the crowd and ensure spectators are safe from matters such as vandalism.

Information Verification Systems

Information verification systems are critical for both the air shows facilitators and the spectators. The information verification systems will be provided and maintained by the It personnel. Electronic verification systems will be installed at entrances to check the spectators. National identification cards will also be required to verify the audience at the event grounds. Pilot and facilitators will also have their information verified to assure they meet the requirements of the positions they hold (Fearn, 2016. The communication systems and channels will also be coded to safeguard the communication lines with safe words and response patterns to verify that the right people are communicating. Information systems such as GIS and ArcGIS will be used for navigation and communications and to map the audience (Vichova, Hromada & Rehak, 2017) the verification will be carried out by the security team.

Modular Crisis Response Strategies

The modular crisis management strategies are systematic steps involved in the crisis management process. The modular response strategies include risk and crisis planning, spectator analysis and engagement, media relations and crisis communication simulation (The National Consortium for the Study of terrorism and responses to terrorism, n.d). Some of the response strategizes are covered in advancer such as response teams are already selected and trained prior to the event and vulnerabilities are already measured and possible responses determined(Zieja, Smoliński & Gołda,2015.

The modular crisis response strategies (Zieja et al., 2015)

Communication Management – Strategies

The communication management strategies include identifying the communication team, selecting and training the spokespersons, developing notifications and monitoring systems developing the holding statements and preparing the communication team for responses in case of crisis (Bernstein, 2015). Also, the communication management team has to develop key messages to adapt in case of a crisis to make communication more effective and timelier in case of a crisis. Public relation is central in crisis management, and the media is very involved in the crisis in public events; thus, the need for handy communication strategies. Communications means will include face to face communications, audio communication through telephones and aircraft radios and coded-messaging where necessary.

Stakeholder Engagement / Media Engagement

The identified stakeholders in the case of the air show event are the spectators for the shows, the citizens of South West England, security agencies and law enforcement people, aircraft bases and the military, investors, health care units and all involved persons (Rech et al., 2015). Stakeholders are a priority in crisis management, and they need to be addressed differently since their interest in the matter is different (Panofsky& Woo, 2017). They all need to be engaged and updated with the proceedings of the event and any crisis for their different interests in the matter. The public will be reached through the media thus the need for media engagement which will be implemented by the communication management team

Holding Statements

Holding statements will be used immediately at the occurrence of a crisis before full detailed messages can be developed upon the outbreak of a crime. The communication and public relations team will develop the holding statement. The statements do not hold any factual information, but more of an acknowledgment that the crisis has been identified and management is working on the case. A sample holding statement for the air show is

Continuity Strategies

Continuity strategies are very precise for the air show event since it is a delicate event. In case of significant crisis and risks such as bad weather, aircraft explosions and accidents, terrorist incidences or critical breakdown of the airplane the air show event will be terminated fully. Such high risks and crisis need the event to be canceled to minimize risks and handle the damage without taking more risks (Sadgrove, 2016. Other minor crisis such as vandalism, health issues on individual spectators will be handled by the relevant teams in the CM unit as the event continues.

Stand Down Procedures

Stand down procedures are very precise for military operations. They dictate what approach will be taken to stop the air show in the event of a crisis including the communication systems that will be used and the protocol of stand down that will be implemented (Wojtaszek & Wesolkowski, 2014. The crisis management leaders will direct the military coordinator to direct the pilots and the crew in the case of a stand down through military established stand down protocols (Deming, 2018). The military commander is thus in charge of executing the stand down orders to his pilots and the aircrew. The security team will manage the public under instruction from the security leaders at the control center.


The crisis manager is in charge of looking at the Crisis management plan to ensure that all areas have been covered.

  1. Is the plan effectively adaptable for any possible crisis that may arise in a military air show event?
  2. Does the plan identify all stakeholders and take care of them according to the impacts they face in case of a crisis?
  3. Are the communication systems and messaging systems effective to address the issues with the audience and deliver the messages effectively?
  4. Are the CMT members and their subordinates well trained to perform their roles with high proficiency?
  5. Are there underlying issues before the vent that may amount to crisis during the event? Have they been identified and mitigation strategies developed?
  6. Is the plan well tested through surveys and focus groups? If so, is it effective? If not, what assure that the plan will be effective in the case of an incidence?
  7. Does the plan cover all the necessary bases and parameters of the air show event?




Debriefing will take the COPING model which includes control, Orient, Patterns, Investigate, Negotiate and Give. Control involves ensuring that everyone has regained control emotionally and physically and Orient involves familiarizing everyone with the facts of the crisis and listening to everyone’s perspective (Zieja, Smoliński &Gołda, 2015. Patterns regard to identifying the patterns in the causes and responses to the crisis. The investigation will determine what needs to change to avoid such crisis or be more responsive in the future. Negotiation involves discussion on the possible changes and improvements and reaching decisions on the ones that need to be implemented. Finally, giving involves supporting and encouraging everyone that has been part of the incident (Harris, 2017). The debriefing will be done by the crisis manager and the operational team’s representatives.

Monitor and Review Systems

The monitoring and review systems will evaluate the effectiveness of the plan strategies in countering the crisis (Penuel, Statler&Hagen, 2013). They will ensure that the plan was operational and attained the intended objectives upon the event of a crisis. Any technicalities and failures will be identified and corrected for future efficiency in the implementation of the crisis management plan. The whole CMT will be involved in the monitoring and review face which will ensure all the efficiency of all operational teams is evaluated.

Training and Development

The crisis management team consists of professionals in different areas who hold the expertise of their roles in the crisis management team. Therefore, training and development at the crisis management plan level will involve coordinating the different areas and integrating them so that they operate and run smoothly in the plan execution (Meyers & Holusha, 2018). The teams have to integrate and connect their roles to achieve efficiency the effectiveness of the CMP.  Training for this particular event crisis management will be reviewed and carried out but operational team’s managers to ensure their subordinates are equipped for the event particularly since they are trained for overall skills.





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