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Media Guide

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This guide provides news media with information that will facilitate their coverage of the Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA), in Madison, Wisconsin. It outlines the procedures the media must follow during an emergency or other news event.

DCRA will help the media with coverage of newsworthy events to the extent possible. However, the airport’s first priorities must be to safeguard lives and property and to maintain airport operations.

Airport Media Contact Information


Brent S. McHenry
mchenry.brent@msnairport.com
Marketing and Communications Director
608-661-6442 desk
608-575-6338 cell / after hours

Media Personnel Procedures

Routine media event procedures:

Media are asked to contact the airport Director of Marketing Communications at (608) 661-6442 or (608) 575-6338, if intending to park in the commercial lane (see diagram) and report from the airport. Media personnel arriving at DCRA on official business – to cover a news story – may park their vehicles in the east commercial lane as long as the vehicle is marked with proper company and/or media identification. The airport’s two commercial lanes are to the east of the parking ramp. Vehicles not identified as media must park in the public parking area. Satellite remote vehicles used for live broadcasting should use the staging area located south of the terminal, curbside, in the most easterly lane.

** All media personnel must maintain visible identification while on airport property.

Major accident or incident procedures: In the event of a major accident or incident, the airport Director of Marketing Communications or his designee is responsible for coordinating all media activities. This includes providing escorts for media while in the AOA, ensuring that the information is properly disseminated, and that regulations, procedures, and on-scene command-post instructions are followed.

The airport Director of Marketing Communications, if appropriate, will facilitate a press briefing as soon as available facts and collaborative agencies are prepared. In most situations many organizations will be involved in such a briefing including: the commercial airline, NTSB, FAA, FBI, TSA and local, regional, and state law enforcement agencies. Because of the many involved agencies information may not be immediately available.

**During a large incident media vehicles and media staging areas may be re-located to other assigned areas – airport staff will direct media upon arrival.

**The primary media meeting location will be the airport cell phone lot.

Dane County Airport Jurisdiction Description:

DCRA is the responsible party for the airfield and runways, terminal structures, and land surrounding the airport. It does not engage in the management of the airspace above the airport, the flying or maintaining of aircraft, or the safety and security procedures of the TSA. The following provide guidelines for obtaining accurate and appropriate information:

  1. Flight plans, air traffic control, ground direction of aircraft and radar monitoring of the DCRA is handled directly by the FAA.

  2. Pilot operations, aircraft configurations, aircraft service histories, passenger manifests, and flight or ground crew operations are handled directly by the respective commercial airline or private charter organization.

  3. Passenger screening procedures, screening equipment, screening staff, and baggage and carry-on inspections are handled directly by the TSA.

  4. Aircraft emergencies which result in aircraft damage, loss or injury of passengers, or certain hostage or hijacking situations are the direct responsibility of the TSA, NTSB the FAA or the FBI.

Airfield Emergency Descriptions:

Aircraft alerts are conditions that present either a danger or threat to the safe continued operation of an aircraft and/or airport. There are two alert conditions:

Alert 2

Indicates minor difficulty on any airline aircraft or any aircraft capable of a gross weight of 75,000 lbs. or more. It also indicates any other aircraft approaching the airport in major difficulty, such as an engine fire, faulty landing gear, lacking hydraulic pressure.

Alert 3

Indicates an aircraft crash or other emergency has occurred on or immediately adjacent the airport property.

During an Alert 3, all incoming non-emergency traffic will be stopped at Darwin Road and International Lane. Media will need Dane County emergency scene credentials – as well as appropriate media credentials to access the airport proper, a non-secure area. Upon clearance of this checkpoint media personnel should park in the locations described above and report directly to the Skuldt Conference Room for check-in.

Off-airport aviation emergencies:

In the event that an aircraft incident occurs outside of the airport boundaries, airport officials will assist and cooperate as appropriate. However, the municipality in charge will have jurisdiction over the accident area. In this case, the primary media contact would be the aircraft owner, law enforcement agency, or the emergency response organization. The airport Marketing and Communications Director will not provide comments, speculations or information for off-airport aviation emergencies.

Aircraft security incidents

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has jurisdiction over aircraft hijacking and/or hostage incidents, when the incident occurs onboard an aircraft inflight. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has jurisdiction over aircraft hijacking and/or hostage incidents when the incident occurs on board an aircraft on the ground. The TSA also has responsibility for all screening checkpoints and the screening of all luggage.

DCRA personnel will respond to aircraft hijacking and/or hostage incidents. They will exercise primary command responsibility until proper jurisdiction is established.

Once jurisdiction is established, DCRA and other local law enforcement agencies will provide support to the lead agency as requested.

The airport Marketing and Communications Director will defer all media requests to the appropriate agencies.

Airport facts

In 1938, the city of Madison began initial construction of the Madison Municipal Airport on the east side of the present airfield.

From 1942 to 1946, the US Army Corps of Engineers maintained control of the airport facilities – Truax Field – returning control of expanded facilities to the city of Madison. The airport transferred to Dane County in 1974.

In 1966, the US Air Force phased out its operations at Truax Field, leaving the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing and the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 147th Aviation Battalion to occupy the southeastern part of Truax Field.

Additionally in 1966, commercial airline operations were moved to the current western site, and a new 31,000-square-foot terminal was built.

Subsequent additions to the commercial terminal added 60,000 square feet in 1985 and 35,000 in 1991. In 2006, after the most recent remodel and expansion, the terminal totals 274,000 square feet.

General aviation operations are located on the eastern side of the airfield. In 1994, the present Fixed Base Operator – Wisconsin Aviation – began operations at DCRA. In 2002, they opened a new, state-of-the-art, 15,000-square-foot general aviation terminal.

DCRA has three runways that are numbered according to compass heading:

Runway Length(feet) Width(feet)
18/36 9,006 150 - Reconstructed in 2000
3/21 7,200 150 - New in 1998
14/32 5,845 150 - Reconstructed in 1984

Annually, there are nearly 83,000 landing and take-off operations; 55 percent are general aviation operations, 38 percent are commercial, and 7 percent military.

Passenger activity (departures and arrivals) grew from 530,998 in 1975 to 1,063,481 in 1990, and over 1.6 million in 2012. DCRA is served by five commercial air carriers with over 100 departures and arrivals per day.

In addition, the several freight carriers moved over 30 million pounds of freight and mail through DCRA in 2012.

The airport is located approximately five miles northeast of Madison’s city center: longitude 89 degrees 20 minutes west, latitude 43 degrees 8 minutes north, elevation 886 feet above mean sea level.


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