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FedRAMP will not be a part of the guidance necessary for airport security access control and other systems.
However, depending on the tenant organizations within an airport and requirements for situational
awareness, there may be a need for airport operators to become familiar with security control requirements
as well as the roles and responsibilities for FedRAMP stakeholders. Ongoing rollout of the FedRAMP
initiative continues and readers should check with EOP-OMB for the latest guidance and applicability to
particular airport implementations.
Security Operations Center (SOC) Participants
An SOC is a focal point for airport security monitoring, command and control (C2) and communications
functions relative to security operations, sometimes involving dissemination of sensitive security
information. In larger airports, this is often a facility that is physically separate and distinct from, say, an
AOC. Generally, smaller airports often include the security integration function into an AOC. Regardless
of size and scope, a SOC is most effective when it is operated on round-the-clock, staffed and designed to
enable the efficient accomplishment of the security ConOps that supports the airport’s ASP.
The SOC generally performs two principal functions. First, it serves as a platform to collect information
from a range of sources to provide situational awareness for operational personnel in the exercise of
command and control over the deployment of security resources. An SOC can be designed to leverage
multiple communication links throughout the airport, including public safety (law enforcement, fire /
rescue, etc.), airport operations, and secure communication channels to concerned local, state and federal
agencies in the allocation of resources, gathering information, and / or coordination of action.
Further, the SOC should include coordination of security functions with other command and control
functions, including physical or virtual linkage with other operations, e.g., AOC, EOC and Incident
Command Post(s) (ICP) sample descriptions of these center functionally follow.
Airport Operations Center (AOC): An AOC is the focal point for daily airport operational functions
including, but not limited to, issues such as maintenance of the airfield, runway surface and lighting, and
the management of terminal facilities and fueling facilities. It might also include control over gate
operations and aircraft maintenance areas (though these may also be tenant functions). Generally, this will
be a round-the-clock operation as its design should support the ConOps for airport operations, including
linkage to the SOC and EOC in the event of an incident as many security events will profoundly affect the
continuing daily operations of the airport.
Joint Operations Center (JOC): A JOC is an airport operation center that combines the functions of various
other operations centers (AOC, SOC, etc.) into one integrated system. A JOC could be accomplished
physically by co-locating an AOC and SOC in the same location or through a virtual linkage on a common
platform with operational characteristics encompassing these joint responsibilities. The resulting JOC
would likely require cross-training of personnel in order to effectively handle a variety of security and
operational tasks. In smaller airport operations where there are generally fewer and less complex systems,
and where personnel constraints limit functional specializations, this may be the optimal C2 structure to
meet ConOps requirements. If a JOC approach is taken, care should be exercised to ensure that sensitive
security information (SSI) is appropriately segregated and shielded from dissemination to unauthorized
personnel. This can be accomplished though physical and virtual methodologies.
Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP): An airport PSAP can serve as the focal point for 9-1 -1 emergency
call center service to a larger geographic area outside its fence, receiving and processing emergency calls
and event notifications for a specific area. These facilities dispatch public safety personnel such as police,
fire, and EMS in response to calls for service. PSAPs should have the flexibility to include additional
operators during emergency situations.
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