What does it take to test Public Information Officers at Chicago Airports?

Chicago O’Hare and Midway Airports wanted to test their ability to use social and traditional media channels in an emergency.

Every 3 years O’Hare and Midway host a full-scale exercise, to test their response to an incident affecting both airports at the same time. Their public response to an emergency is crucial, so this exercise involves Public Information Officers (PIOs) working across two Joint Information Centers (JICs).

We deployed Social Simulator, which meant all PIOs had a central feed of news and social coverage to monitor and respond to. PIOs had access to replicas of their own external communication channels.


  • Testing operational decision making and public information response by both airports and agencies
  • Participants included the Chicago Department of Aviation, Chicago Police and the FBI, all monitoring and posting updates to Social Simulator
  • Other participants included airlines and the Transport Security Authority (TSA)

Chicago O'Hare airport

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