Airport Manager Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an airport manager. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an airport manager.
Who is an Airport Manager?
Airport managers work for the government and are in charge of monitoring all airport operations in their city. They organize the work of airport departments, manage employees’ day-to-day tasks, develop strategies for effective future operations, and ensure that safety regulations are followed by both staff and passengers.
Airport Manager Job Description
Below are the airport manager job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
An airport manager’s duties and responsibilities include the following:
- Serve as a media contact for current and future airport operations.
- Maintain positive working ties with employees and government representatives.
- Coordinate all construction activities with city staff, contractors, the general public, and airport tenants.
- Create suggestions and specifications for airport capital improvement and procurement.
- Attend airport advisory committee meetings and serve as an advisor to the airport advisory committee.
- Collect boarding lists from tenant airlines every month.
- Collect lease payments from tenants of rental cars, restaurants, and other businesses.
- Direct and supervise department managers such as the airside manager, landside manager, safety manager, and environmental manager.
- Maintain an effective working relationship with a variety of authorities, including the FAA, EPA, and government agencies such as local fire and transportation departments.
- Discover and apply new technology that can boost efficiency, security, and passenger comfort.
- Coordinate with airlines and other airport tenants to ensure that they are satisfied with the airport’s services.
- Manage airport operations by supervising employees who conduct activities like security screening, facility maintenance, and customer service.
- Manage the airport’s financial health by managing budgets and capital expenditure plans.
- Supervise airport operations, including the planning and implementation of security measures to deter crime and terrorism, such as screening procedures.
- Plan and direct the construction of an airport’s operational, administrative, and support facilities, which include terminals, hangars, runways, and cargo facilities.
- Create and implement processes for reacting to airport accidents or crises, such as fires, medical problems, security breaches, or jet malfunctions.
- Ensure compliance with federal aviation regulations as well as other applicable laws and regulations, such as those governing security screening procedures or airport noise levels.
- Conduct public outreach to educate the community about airport operations and air travel issues.
The following are some of the prerequisites for becoming an airport manager:
- Education: A bachelor’s degree in airport management, aviation management, transportation management, or a related discipline is often required by most companies. Airport planning, airport design, airport building, airport maintenance, and airport security are among the courses offered in these schools.
- Training and experience: Many potential airport managers will be trained on the job in entry-level roles. This training will assist them in developing the specialized skills and information required to flourish in their role. Shadowing current airport managers or working under the supervision of a senior-level employee may be part of the training.
- Licenses and certifications: Certification is not required to work as an airport manager. They can, however, make you a more competitive applicant for job openings. A bachelor’s degree is required for anyone looking for work as an airport manager. Those with advanced degrees will have an advantage.
Airport managers must possess the following abilities to be successful:
- Excellent leadership abilities: The ability to encourage and steer a group toward common goals is referred to as leadership. As an airport manager, you may be in charge of huge teams of people that rely on you for direction. Strong leadership abilities enable you to keep your workplace in order while simultaneously fostering innovation and creativity among your employees. By taking the initiative, setting clear expectations, and providing constructive feedback, you may improve your leadership skills.
- Excellent Communication Skills: The act of sharing knowledge with others is known as communication. You must be able to communicate effectively with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders as an airport manager. You should be able to communicate both verbally and in writing.
- Excellent problem-solving abilities: Problem-solving abilities enable you to spot challenges, devise solutions, and put them into action. As an airport manager, you may be in charge of managing issues with airport operations, such as delays, cancellations, or other issues that impair the airport’s ability to run smoothly. You may also be in charge of mediating disputes among staff, passengers, and other airport stakeholders.
- Ability to Make Decisions: Airport managers are in charge of a wide range of duties and processes, and they frequently make judgments on how to handle them. Gathering information, analyzing possibilities, and executing a solution are all components of effective decision-making. Managers can use their decision-making abilities to assist their teams in finishing projects, improving processes, and resolving challenges.
- Capability to Work in a Group: Working as part of a team is an important aspect of an airport manager’s work. They must be able to work together with their team members to make decisions, solve problems, and establish winning plans. An airport manager should be a team leader capable of assisting their team members in growing and developing their talents.
- Airport Operations Knowledge: Airport managers must have a broad understanding of airport operations, including how to handle air traffic control equipment and navigate airport laws. They must also be prepared to deal with any problems that may develop at an airport, such as fires or medical emergencies. Airport managers should be knowledgeable about all facets of airport administration to ensure that their employees are properly trained and that the airport functions smoothly.
- Rapid Emergency Response: An airport manager is in charge of both the safety of passengers and the security of the airport’s assets. They must be able to respond swiftly in emergency circumstances and grasp airport protocols for dealing with accidents or other events. Airport managers are also in charge of reaction teams that deal with crises such as fires, medical emergencies, and natural catastrophes at airports.
- Capability to carry out aircraft maintenance: The ability to repair and maintain airplanes is referred to as aircraft maintenance. This expertise is useful for airport managers since it allows them to ensure that their facilities are always safe and in good condition. It also ensures that they have a complete understanding of how each piece of equipment operates, allowing them to make informed decisions when repairs or replacements are required.
- Excellent Negotiation Skills: Negotiation is the process of reaching an agreement with others. As an airport manager, you may need to negotiate cheaper rates or better service with vendors and suppliers. Negotiation skills are also used while negotiating contracts with employees, contractors, and other parties. To be a successful negotiator, you must first define your objectives and how to successfully articulate them. Knowing your limits and having backup plans in case negotiations fail can also be beneficial.
- Passenger Safety: Passenger safety is a critical skill for airport managers to have because they frequently oversee the safety of both passengers and personnel. For example, if there is a fire at an airport, the manager may be in charge of ensuring that everyone escapes safely. They must also guarantee that all security measures are in place to prevent anyone from entering prohibited areas or being injured on the tarmac.
- Excellent organizational abilities: The ability to keep track of many tasks and obligations is referred to as an organization. As an airport manager, you may be in charge of a large staff working on a variety of projects at the same time. Strong organizing abilities can assist you in properly managing your task and meeting all deadlines. When dealing with paperwork, it’s also critical to be organized, as this guarantees that files are complete and records are accurate.
- Customer Service Abilities: Customer service abilities are essential for airport managers because they frequently contact consumers and clients. They must be capable of providing great customer service, which includes greeting visitors, answering questions, and resolving problems. Customer service is also an important aspect of an airport manager’s job because it is their responsibility to guarantee that passengers and airport personnel are pleased and comfortable at all times.
- Budgeting: The process of developing financial plans for a business or organization is known as budgeting. As an airport manager, you may be in charge of budgeting for several departments and projects. Strong budgeting abilities can assist you in making informed judgments about how to distribute resources and keep your airport financially viable. You can also put your budgeting skills to use when creating proposals for new initiatives that need funding.
- Flexibility: The ability to adjust to changing conditions is referred to as flexibility. Depending on the situation, you may need to modify your duties or obligations as an airport manager. For example, if a flight is delayed and passengers are waiting for service, you could intervene to help them resolve any concerns they may be experiencing. This adaptability can also come in handy when unforeseen events occur, such as natural disasters that disrupt airport operations.
- Flight Scheduling: Flight scheduling is the process of arranging and coordinating airline flight schedules. As an airport manager, you may be in charge of developing flight schedules to guarantee that flights depart and arrive on time. Flight scheduling necessitates meticulous attention to detail as well as knowledge of aviation laws. Working with other departments, such as operations or customer service, to ensure all necessary resources are accessible when a plane lands or takes off is also required.
- The ability to work under Pressure: Whether airports are small, privately owned enterprises or serve huge commercial airlines, they deal with safety and security challenges daily, and unpredictable weather can disrupt schedules. Airport management must give calm leadership amid a crisis to deal with this.
- Multitasking Capabilities: Airports have a lot going on, from maintenance to scheduling to customer service to security and more. Effective airport managers must regularly monitor issues across different divisions.
How to Become an Airport Manager
The following are a few measures you should do to become an airport manager.
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree in aviation management or a related discipline: The minimal educational requirement for airport management roles is a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in aviation management or a similar discipline such as business administration, logistics, or transportation and distribution will best prepare you for this career path.
Some institutions offer aviation management programs that integrate classroom instruction with on-the-job training through internships or co-ops. These programs can help you develop in your profession faster by offering additional training and networking opportunities.
- Work in airport operations to gain experience: Most airport managers have at least five years of the airport experience. Ramp agents, cargo agents, and passenger service agents are examples of entry-level employment for aspiring airport managers. These positions entail engaging with passengers, pilots, and other personnel to ensure that flights go successfully. Working as a flight coordinator or air traffic controller can also provide essential experience for a position as an airport manager. Flight coordinators keep track of flight progress and communicate with pilots and air traffic controllers to ensure that all regulations are observed. Radar technology is used by air traffic controllers to track planes and route them to their destinations.
- Develop your leadership and communication abilities: Airport managers must be able to oversee a team of employees while also efficiently communicating with airport tenants, vendors, and other stakeholders. Because airports are high-stress settings with constant in-and-out traffic, the airport manager must be able to handle tension and make quick judgments when necessary. Employees that report to an airport manager frequently have specific knowledge that enables them to accomplish their jobs well. The airport manager must be able to direct and allocate work to these staff while also communicating properly about any modifications or adjustments.
- Recognize the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs): The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) oversee the aviation industry. As an airport manager, you must be familiar with these requirements to guarantee your facility complies. Airspace limits, runway designations, and pilot training requirements are all included in the FARs. The FARs are available on the FAA website.
- Understand airport security processes: Airport security is an important element of the job for airport management. They are in charge of ensuring that all airport security standards and procedures are followed to keep passengers, personnel, and aircraft safe. This includes understanding what goods are forbidden from being taken into airports and how to properly screen them. Employees in this job must also be familiar with emergency response plans and be aware of the locations of fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and other safety equipment throughout the airport.
- Keep up with changes in the aviation sector: Because the aviation sector is always changing, airport managers must stay current on the latest advances. New airlines, for example, may commence operations at a specific airport, affecting traffic patterns and other aspects of everyday operations. New legislation or security processes are frequently implemented, therefore airport managers must be aware of these changes and ensure that their employees do as well.
- Be a member of professional organizations like the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE): The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) is a professional association that provides airport executives with networking opportunities and educational materials. Membership in the AAAE can assist airport managers in staying current on industry trends and advances, as well as finding job possibilities. Through its Aviation Institute, the group also provides its members with access to training courses and certifications. These programs educate airport management skills such as security planning and risk assessment.
Where to Work as an Airport Manager
An airport manager’s work environment is often an office at the airport. Airport managers normally work 40 hours per week, however, they may be forced to work longer hours at peak periods or in the event of an emergency. They might also be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Airport managers normally work Monday through Friday, however, their hours may vary based on the schedule of the airport. Some airport managers may be required to travel to other airports to observe operations or attend conferences.
Airport Manager Salary Scale
In the United States, the average airport manager’s income is $59,777 per year or $30.66 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $42,812 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to $94,734 per year.
In the United Kingdom, the average airport manager’s income is £30,000 per year or £15.38 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at £25,000 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to £48,497 per year.
The typical airport manager’s gross pay in Toronto, Ontario is $116,229, or $56 per hour. This is 8% more than the average airport manager’s income in Canada (+$8,611). They also receive an average bonus of $9,345. Wage estimates based on salary survey data from employers and anonymous employees in Toronto, Ontario. The average compensation for an entry-level airport manager (1-3 years of experience) is $81,232. A senior-level airport manager (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, receives an average income of $144,374.
The average airport manager’s gross salary in Ireland is €72,114, or €35 per hour. They also receive an average bonus of €5,740. Wage estimates are based on salary survey data from businesses and anonymous employees in Ireland. The average compensation for an entry-level airport manager (1-3 years of experience) is €50,341. A senior-level airport manager (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, gets an average income of €89,675.
The typical airport manager’s gross pay in Melbourne, Australia is $123,661 per year, or $59.50 per hour. This is 2% more than the average airport manager’s income in Australia (+$2,160). They also receive an average bonus of $9,942. Estimated salaries are based on salary survey data gathered directly from employers and anonymous employees in Melbourne, Australia. The average compensation for an entry-level airport manager (1-3 years of experience) is $86,567. A senior-level airport manager (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of $153,855.
The average airport manager’s gross salary in Germany is 71.220 € or 34 € per hour. They also receive an average bonus of 5.726 €. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data from employers and anonymous employees in Germany. The average salary for an entry-level airport manager (1-3 years of experience) is 49.776 €. A senior-level airport manager (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of 88.466 €.
The monthly salary of an airport manager in Nigeria 704,000 NGN. Salaries range from 366,000 NGN (the lowest) to 1,080,000 NGN (the highest).