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. The crisis management team recognises 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 air show. 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 key 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. 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 organisations 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 equipments 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 & McConell, 2011, 89). Military performances are prone to crisis and thus the need to develop crisis management plans prior to 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 o 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 audience 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 impacts that threaten 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 minimisation of damage in case a crisis arises.

Crisis management plan (CMP) is the descriptive 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.

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

 Aims/Objectives of CM / CMT

  • To provide an effective summary of the event
  • Analyse 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
  • Analyse the potential threats and possible solution

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

Incident command system




Roles/responsibilities – key duties

Crisis manager

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

The South West England regional CM team

  • Support the process at the local level
  • Inform the CMT of the region-specific risks and issues and manage them
  • Coordinate local resources to facilitate the process (Technical response planning, 2012, n.d).

Communication manager

  • Communicate the aspects of the crisis to the public and offer updates
  • Answer any public relations questions as the spokesperson of the CMT

Human resource manager

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

Medical practitioner

  • Oversee the handling and assist in any health-related impacts

Crisis management advisor

  • Coordinate and oversee support roles
  • Ensure the preparedness of the CM centre

Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Advisor

  • Facilitate and manage the implementation of response plans
  • Manage training and updates of incident response plans

Administrative support manager

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

Security manager

  • Control and maintain order with the public during the crisis
  • 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 so as to make critical decisions on time. Therefore, the call out procedure is standard to any crisis that may arise during or prior to 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-action 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. 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. The last stage is the post-crisis stage which entails 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. Cancellation of the air show in case of identification of critical threats prior to the commencing of the air shows such as terrorist risks is advised. Also, All risks identified before the air show should be managed beforehand and a lookout throughout for identified potential risks.

















Cascade systems/flow chart









  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

Review of the implementation of CMP


Control centre and management systems

Crisis vulnerability assessments

Information verification systems

Modular crisis response strategies

Communication Management – strategies / objectives

Stakeholder engagement / Media engagement

Holding statements

Continuity strategies

Stand down procedures



Monitor and review systems

Training and development








Eriksson, K. and McConnell, A., 2011. Contingency planning for crisis management: Recipe for success or political fantasy?. Policy and Society30(2), pp.89-99.

Firestorm team., 2014. The 5-Phase Model – When Crisis Plans Are Activated. Firestorm. [Accessed 4 March 2019) Available at

Long, R., 2018. CMT 101: Crisis Management Team Roles. MHA Consulting [Accessed 4 March 2019) Available at

Nevada Small Business., 2018. Creating a Crisis Communications Plan Zions Bancorporation, N.A. [Accessed 4 March 2019] Available at

Technical Planning Response., 2012. An Overview of Crisis Management Teams [Accessed 4 March 2019] Available at

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