San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has secured approval from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to use their wireless public alert system.
The wireless system allows SFO to transmit potentially life-saving information to any cellphone located on airport grounds.
Emergency alerts can be issued using the Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS). It is a unified platform that is used in multiple alert systems across the country.
SFO director Ivar Satero said: “Safety and security are our highest priorities, and we continue to enhance our emergency response capabilities.
“Being the first airport in the US approved to issue Wireless Emergency Alerts gives us an important tool to help keep people safe during an emergency.”
When the wireless emergency alerts are issued through IPAWS, airport employees, passengers, and the public on airport grounds can be quickly reached to provide critical information.
Warnings can be sent to a mobile device without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service.
Only mobile phone users who have enabled ’emergency alerts’ under the ‘government alerts’ section in their phone settings will receive the alert.
Designated staff will use the system to send a text message along with an audible alert to mobile phones in the area in case of an incident.