BlackBerry's newly acquired California-based crisis communication company AtHoc has just won a contract to secure more than 200 United States TSA airports.
The TSA has been using AtHoc's Alert Warning System since 2011, but now with this expansion award TSA will deploy the system from over 100 TSA Coordination Centers, enabling direct bi-directional crisis communications for all TSA staff at over 200 major airports.
TSA Joins the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agencies in Deploying AtHoc to Fortify Crisis Communication across the Nation’s Airports
SAN MATEO, Calif. – August 31, 2015 – AtHoc, Inc., the leader in networked crisis communications, today announced a new award from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a component agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TSA’s intense focus on swift, ubiquitous and effective crisis communications resulted in the need to further protect and account for TSA staff within TSA facilities and across over 200 domestic airports. This move will accelerate coverage and enable precise real time accountability of TSA staff during routine, emergency and critical events at major airports such as JFK, Dulles, LAX, SFO as well as many others across the nation.
TSA’s Alert Warning System (AWS) based on AtHoc has been in use since 2011 to reach TSA staff in all regions. With this expansion award TSA will deploy the system from over 100 TSA Coordination Centers, enabling direct bi-directional crisis communications for all TSA staff at over 200 major airports.
The AtHoc deployment will support two primary use cases. First, the ability to alert airport stationed personnel in times of crisis, such as weather related closures, active shooter, terrorist activity, as well as procedural changes and similar applications with instantaneous confirmation of alert receipt. Second, post-alert, full and immediate accountability of affected TSA staff to include status, location, and geographic representation by organizational level and function. These use cases enable TSA leadership to take decisive action and subsequent steps to affected locations; implement crisis response procedures, initiate staff recalls, determine ready to work status, and identify those in need of assistance.
TSA has now enabled similar practices also achieved by two other DHS agencies - Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - within their AtHoc based systems to effectively communicate with airport staff in times of crisis. With these three Homeland Security agencies now deployed to airports, interoperability among the agencies as well as with external stakeholders may be achieved via AtHoc Connect. This latest AtHoc innovation, available to all AtHoc customers, interconnects agencies and enables secure information sharing across disparate organizations. AtHoc Connect also includes the ability to create invitations for non-AtHoc users to participate on demand, thereby reaching external supporting organizations with crisis information exchange.
“TSA is acting with great speed and foresight,” said Rear Admiral Robert E. Day Jr. Retired Former CIO of the US Coast Guard and a member of AtHoc Advisory Board. “Bringing these alert and accountability systems to over 200 of our nation’s major airports, as well as TSA headquarters, regions and National Coordination Centers is a great step towards a comprehensive, national protection network.”
“We are proud that critical DHS agencies such as TSA have selected AtHoc as the foundation for these important initiatives,” said Dubhe Beinhorn, Vice President of AtHoc’s Homeland Security and Government Group. “DHS component agencies singularly and collectively have a tremendous responsibility to create the systems that keep America safe. We are proud and honored to support their mission.”
About the Transportation Security Administration
A major component agency of the Department of Homeland Security, TSA was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security.
AtHoc is the pioneer and recognized leader in networked crisis communication, protecting millions of people and thousands of organizations around the world. AtHoc provides a seamless and reliable exchange of critical information among organizations, their people, devices and external entities. A trusted partner to the world's most demanding customers, AtHoc is the #1 provider to the US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and safeguards numerous other government agencies and leading commercial enterprises. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the company operates around the globe. On July 21, 2015 BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX:BB) announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AtHoc. For more information about AtHoc, please visit www.athoc.com.