Media GuideDownload Media Guide in PDF format
This guide provides the local and national 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.(See Guide below.)
Airport Media Contact Information
Dane County Regional Airport
- Brent S. McHenry
Marketing and Communications Director
- 608-661-6442 / 608-575-6338
- After Hours
Dane County Sheriff
- After Hours
Media Personnel Procedures
Fire and rescue operations are the first priority during disaster or incident operations. While fire rescue operations are in progress, an escort may not be available to news media. Escorts will be provided as soon as operations permit. Under no circumstances are media personnel allowed to proceed to the Air Operations Area (AOA) without an escort. Media should report to the Skuldt Conference Room (south end of terminal) upon arrival for check-in and briefing – unless previously arranged with the marketing and communications director.
All media personnel must maintain visible identification while on airport property.
Media are asked to contact the airport communications director 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 commercial lanes 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 should make contact with the marketing and communications director PRIOR to arrival.
Media wishing to obtain initial photo or television coverage of a major disaster are encouraged to set up on the top floor of the airport’s parking ramp. This location provides the best view of the airfield.
VEHICLE CLEARANCE HEIGHT FOR RAMP IS 8’ 2” (Eight Feet – Two Inches)
In the event of a major accident or incident, the airport marketing and communications director 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.
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
Press/Media Conference Procedures:
The airport marketing and communications director, 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.
All press briefings will be held in the Skuldt Conference Room located at the south end of the passenger terminal. Satellite remote vehicles may park in the curbside lane at the south end of the terminal and remote cables may be run through the first entryway and into the conference room. Airport staff will assist with parking locations as well as the appropriate location for cables.
Access To The Incident Site:
DCRA may provide escorted access to the incident site on an impartial basis. Media personnel will be under escort by DCRA personnel at the accident scene. A final determination of allowed access to the incident site will be dictated by the incident commander, the FAA, the NTSB, or local, state or national law enforcement officers –as appropriate. In many cases access to the incident site may be delayed for several hours due to a variety of factors – initial coverage of the airfield is best obtained from a location on top of the parking structure. In some instances incident site access may be denied.
MEDIA VEHICLES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE AOA.
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:
- Flight plans, air traffic control, ground direction of aircraft and radar monitoring of the DCRA is handled directly by the FAA.
- 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.
- Passenger screening procedures, screening equipment, screening staff, and baggage and carry-on inspections are handled directly by the TSA.
- 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 three alert conditions:
Indicates that a non-airline aircraft approaching the airport is experiencing minor difficulty, such as an oil leak or feathered propeller.
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.
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.
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:
||150 - Reconstructed in 2000|
||150 - New in 1998|
||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.