An airport operations manager, also known as an airport director, is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of an airport. An airport operations manager can work in either a small municipal airport or a large metropolitan airport. Many of the larger metropolitan airports often have large teams of personnel the airport manager is responsible for, as well as being responsible for the maintenance of airport terminals and runways. The airport manager must have extensive knowledge of the Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations. Their primary role is safety and security and to enforce all rules and regulations.
The job duties of an airport operations manager are similar at any type of airport, regardless of the size. The position requires someone who has the ability to prioritize, make effective decisions under pressure and has excellent communication skills. He/she is responsible for all of the day to day operations of the facility that include duties such as setting up the airport budget, promoting use of the airport, training/supervising employees, coordinating vendors, managing transportation schedules, participating in business decisions and negotiating leases with airport tenants, including airlines. Depending on the airport size, operations managers typically supervise an assistant manager, personnel officer, controller, maintenance superintendent, engineer and the supporting office workers such as clerks and secretaries. In many situations the operations manager is in charge of the aircraft repair station, gives flight lessons and sells aviation fuel.
The actual salary of an airport operations manager depends on several factors such as the location and size of the airport and the overall responsibilities included in the position. Someone just beginning a career may earn about $47,000, however, a senior airport operation manager who assumes the responsibility of a facility's entire operation can earn over $100,000 each year for a large metropolitan airport. Someone managing a medium size facility may earn an average salary of $80,000 to $90,000 per year. An airport operations manager's salary may be higher if he/she is also given compensation packages that include benefits and/or bonuses.
Airport operations managers must have a solid education background. The majority of airports require that their airport managers have a minimum of a four-year college degree, while some larger airports require that an airport operations manager have a minimum of a master's degree. Airport operations managers will typically possess a degree in an area such as business administration, aviation, airport management, civil engineering or aeronautical engineering. Some of the required courses include business administration, staff management and airport security. An internship is also required to provide hands on experience in areas such as ground vehicles, communications, airport security and maintenance.
The position of airport operations manager, just like any other managerial position, requires the candidate to have experience and training. An airport operations manager must have extensive knowledge and experience with security procedures, airport emergency, weather conditions and the FAA rules and regulations. Typically, a small to mid-sized airport requires the job candidate to have fewer years of management experience; however, a larger airport may require the management candidate to have about 15 to 20 years of relevant experience.
Chris Griffith is a careers advisor with extensive experience with placements in the travel industry. He enjoys sharing valuable information on various travel blogs. Find out more about jobs in travel by visiting the link.
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