image description

New Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport restroom phones offer real-time emergency assistance

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport recently installed emergency phones in all public restrooms with the aim of connecting victims of human trafficking, assault, or any situation where an individual needs police assistance, with real-time support.

“Ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of the flying public and airport community remains our top priority and the new restroom emergency phones strongly support this mission. It’s our hope the phones and information placards will encourage victims to seek assistance and help them connect with the support they need. Through ongoing vigilance, education, and collaboration, we will strive to combat human trafficking and draw attention to this critical issue,” said Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Executive Director Mike Stewart.

This new initiative builds upon Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport’s ongoing efforts to eliminate human trafficking. The Airport has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign since 2021 and has trained its Public Safety officers and staff to recognize the signs of human trafficking and identify and report potential traffickers and victims.

The phones and information placards were placed in restrooms as they are among the few locations where victims are often separated from their traffickers or abusers.

The placards are located next to the phones and in all restroom stalls. In English, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese they state, “This Airport is a safe space. If you are the victim of human trafficking, sexual assault, or anything that puts you in fear of your life, use the emergency phone for assistance.”

When a caller picks up the phone, it automatically calls the Airport’s Public Safety team. The phone’s location is displayed on the officer’s phone so they can immediately respond and assist the caller. Calls are answered by an officer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Airports play a significant role in combatting human trafficking,” said Airport Public Safety Chief Ben Cook. “This new effort provides our officers with another valuable tool to enhance our assistance to Airport patrons and also raise public awareness about this important issue.”


Photo of emergency restroom phone with information placard above that states how to use phone in multiple languages

Photo of emergency restroom phone stall sign