Media inquiries, requests for interviews, and requests to film at PIE should be directed to:
PIE requests that news organizations alert us prior to coming to the airport in order to assist you with parking and logistics, and answer any questions you may have.
When filming or interviewing at the airport, all news media representatives are required to display press credentials at all times. News media are allowed unescorted access to all public areas inside and outside the airport terminal building. These include the ticketing and baggage claim areas. As a courtesy, please contact Michele Routh about your plans to gather news at the airport.
In order to film and report in secure areas of the terminal, news media personnel will have to pass through screening at the security checkpoints and be accompanied by an airport authority escort while in the secure areas. Filming and photography of security checkpoint equipment and procedures are regulated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Media may park in short or long-term parking while on official business and receive parking validation by visiting the Airport Reception Office. For special events, designated media parking will be assigned.
News conferences will be held when PIE has an announcement to make. Media advisories will be sent electronically to all local news media in advance of any news conferences, along with any specific instructions concerning access.
Media releases are issued as needed to all general news email contacts for print and TV and all individual reporters that have requested direct news from PIE. All current media releases and newsletters are published here on our website.
It is the policy of PIE to cooperate with the news media to the greatest extent possible. Our primary responsibilities, however, are safe, orderly and secure airport operations. When there is an emergency situation at PIE that is expected to generate extensive media attention, these procedures will serve as our guidelines:
- The media, in reporting news of an aircraft emergency, accident or other incident is requested to only release incident details that have been confirmed by PIE or other appropriate authority.
- As information becomes available, reports will be given. For scheduled news conferences or updates, media representatives will report to the second floor conference room or other designated location.
- The Airport Director, Public Relations Director or an alternate, will be prepared to:
- Inform the media of any confirmed information
- Provide media personnel with contact information for outside agencies involved in the incident
- Stay in contact with the incident command center to obtain and provide information relating to the incident
- Coordinate the approval of and assembly of the media to the scene of the incident
Media may be permitted access to the scene of the emergency or incident as soon as practical after the scene has been declared secure. The assembly point will be designated by PIE or designated authority, and media representatives at the scene of an incident must comply with directions given. No representative of the media will enter aircraft movement areas or security areas without an airport escort.
The media will not be allowed to interfere with the pedestrian or vehicle flow of the general public or with airline, airport, tenant and concessionaire operations. While PIE recognizes the importance of interviewing passengers, our first responsibility is to the passengers and their families and their right to privacy. If any individuals are reluctant to be interviewed or photographed, PIE will support their decision.
In addition, during an aircraft accident, access to passengers will be subject to approval by the involved airline, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Transportation Safety Board, Transportation Security Administration, and/or the Department of Homeland Security. In an emergency, PIE's representative may provide the following information once confirmed:
- Date and time of incident
- Name of airline
- Type of aircraft and flight number
- Arrival/departure and destination
- Number of persons on board
- General description of the incident
- Special security conditions at the scene of the accident
- Operations at the airport, any closures of runways, etc.
- Information regarding escort service to scene
Note: all other information must be provided by the airline representative or the appropriate federal agency.
As a rule, during an emergency, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) releases the cause of an aircraft crash or incident after an investigation has been completed. Until then, no agency will speculate on a possible cause. The passenger manifest is released by the airline—not the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration—not the airport—releases information on air traffic control communication with the pilot of an aircraft involved in an accident or incident. In a non-aircraft emergency situation, the Public Relations Director will coordinate the release of information.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of investigating traffic accidents and criminal activities on airport property. PCSO’s PIO is to be contacted for information regarding arrests. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for the security of all modes of transportation including aircraft. Alert System Info - When monitoring radio transmissions, an Alert 1 or 2 could indicate either a real or perceived problem. Our emergency staff assumes a heightened condition and prepares accordingly.
- Alert 1 – Potential problem/minor difficulty – indicates a potential emergency exists that may require dispatch of emergency equipment at a later time. ARFF on stand-by.
- Alert 2 – Indicates that a potential emergency exists. ARFF is dispatched with emergency equipment to stand-by positions.
- Alert 3 – Incident Occurrence - emergency response in effect. ARFF on scene.
Important Contact Information
- FAA Public Relations Office Southern Region - (404) 305-5100
- Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office PIO - (727) 582-6200
- Transportation Security Administration Public Affairs - (571) 227-2829
- National Transportation Safety Board (202) 314-6100
- NTSB Southern Region - (305) 597-4610
- FBI (904) 721-1211