Talon takes flight at Wellington Airport

  • July 18, 2016
  • Crisis Management

A pilot trial of Kestrel’s new crisis management app has proved so successful for Wellington International Airport that they are now using Talon for all emergency response and business continuity purposes.
Manager Airport Performance, Lachlan Thurston, says the company has been working together with Kestrel since 2013. Initially Kestrel was engaged to update the company’s business continuity plan and then to help the executive management team test the plan through table top training exercises.

When the opportunity arose to trial Talon, Lachlan says Wellington International Airport jumped at the chance.

“Our executive team is pretty widely spread around the country in terms of where they live – three of our executives live in the South Island so having mobility is extremely important to us. We were also quite keen to go paperless – having an app helps us do that and strengthens our own resilience.”

The Airport started using Talon about a year ago and has used it for table top crisis exercises to test its business continuity plans.

“We realised early on that there was also a wider use for this app than just our business continuity plan. We’ve also put our airport emergency response procedures into Talon. It’s working out to be really worthwhile to use Talon for that as we are more regularly dealing with emergency response issues.”

Lachlan says airport emergency situations happen more frequently than business continuity issues. “But you never know when an emergency situation could escalate to a level that it becomes a business continuity issue. Having both on Talon and aligned to other contingency plans is fantastic.”

He says a key benefit of Talon is mobility. “It means there is more flexibility – it doesn’t matter where you are you’ve always got your business continuity and emergency response plans at your fingertips as an aide memoir. You can push out plan updates, changes or status updates to everyone’s phone (or device) at any time so they don’t need to rely on a paper plan.

“You don’t need to worry if everyone has access to the internet or a printed document as the information is cached on your device and also stored securely in the cloud. Talon will automatically update when you open the app, so you can be sure everyone has the latest version.”

One of the key objectives of undertaking the pilot was to provide feedback to Kestrel on ways they could enhance and adjust Talon to make it even easier to use – which they have done, says Lachlan.

“The whole thing is just so intuitive and gives you everything you need in the palm of your hand. I would absolutely recommend Talon to others and if you are responsible for document control in your organisation it’s an obvious choice to use the app instead of hard copies. It would suit large organisations who have offices in more than one location, or if the executive team are spread out around the country. Our business is based in one location but many of our recovery team. live away from Wellington, and anything can happen at any time in a 24/7 operation like ours, Talon works really well for our operation.”

Lachlan says enhancing the whole experience of using Talon has been the relationship with Kestrel. “Without Kestrel’s skills and expertise we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we’ve achieved with our business continuity– it’s been of immense benefit.”