What Do Airport Managers Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

Departure lobby at the airport, high angle view, Kobe Airport, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, Kinki Region, Japan

Airport managers are the choice-makers and policy-makers for airports. They create jobs and oversee the control of each airport branch. The task is multi-faceted and crucial to aviation protection. Large airports that serve schedule carriers need managers to supervise numerous departments, however smaller airports may additionally need airport managers to be more hands-on with regions together with finance, safety, renovation, and extra.

Airports regularly are one in every of the biggest employers in a neighborhood location. Major airports like JFK in New York may have upwards of 30,000 people employed. Small airports may additionally hire simplest an airport supervisor and more than one linemen. Regardless, someone has to manage the daily operations and plan for the future, and that job lies with the airport supervisor. 

Airport Manager Duties & Responsibilities

This task normally requires the capability to do the following paintings:

  • Comply with FAA regulations and other guidelines.
  • Supervise managers and personnel.
  • Plan budgets.
  • Adapt to outdoor factors, together with climate.
  • Work with network leaders.
  • Maintain correct statistics.
  • Oversee the renovation and repair of airport system.

Airport managers often are employed via the town where the airport is positioned, and they are liable for all airport operations. The airport supervisor oversees all other employees and departments and manages the every day operations as well as destiny airport planning. They might also address many specific problems, but they are usually accountable for airport protection, policies, and price range planning.

Airport managers may also must deal with noise lawsuits, emissions checking out, and airport system management. They work closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and different industry organizations to manipulate and develop air site visitors procedures, deploy air navigation device, mitigate safety dangers, and manage the airport budget. They have to paintings intently with severa human beings, consisting of the FAA, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), airline control, air traffic controllers, firefighters, protection employees linemen, and maintenance personnel, administrative group of workers, meals group of workers, and on occasion retail managers.

Airport managers typically work with metropolis, state, and federal officers to make their airports secure and efficient even as following guidelines and regulations. They sometimes lobby to make important changes and work with legislative officers to sell aviation.

Airport Manager Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not tune salaries specially for airport managers, but the median annual income for administrative provider managers became $96,one hundred eighty, as pronounced in 2018. AVJobs.com tracks salaries for aviation-related jobs posted on its website, including management jobs. Positions at the kingdom's largest or smallest airports doubtlessly could pay more or less than the highest and lowest figures on this list:

  • Mean Annual Salary: $100,052 ($forty eight.10/hour)
  • Highest Annual Salary: $109,778 ($52.78/hour)
  • Lowest Annual Salary: $90,327 ($forty three.43/hour)

Education, Training, & Certification

At a minimum, a person in search of paintings as an airport supervisor must have a bachelor's diploma. Those with superior tiers may be more aggressive.

  • Education: It's not important to be a pilot to control an airport, but the most aggressive candidates have studied aviation or aviation management. A sturdy enterprise heritage is also beneficial, so standard commercial enterprise or management tiers are beneficial.
  • Experience: Larger business airports assume managers to have several years of experience in airport control as branch heads before being geared up to manage a whole airport. Managing a smaller airport calls for much less revel in, but large time operating in such an surroundings is needed.

Airport Manager Skills & Competencies

Good enterprise abilities and familiarity with aviation and aviation rules are important in this area, but being a terrific airport manager additionally requires broader tender abilties.

  • Multitasking: From upkeep to scheduling to customer support to protection and greater, airports have a lot taking place. Effective airport managers continuously want to live on pinnacle of issues within more than one departments.
  • Leadership abilties: A well-run airport needs a robust team of branch heads and other workforce contributors. An airport supervisor desires to be an effective chief of this group to get the most out of them.
  • Effective underneath pressure: Whether airports are small, privately owned operations or serve large air carriers, they cope with troubles associated with protection and protection every day, and unpredictable climate can wreak havoc with schedules. To cope with this, airport managers need to provide calm leadership at some stage in a crisis.
  • Communication skills: In addition to listening and giving direction to branch heads and different staff contributors, airport managers need to speak efficiently with representatives from out of doors organizations, inclusive of the FAA, and leaders in surrounding communities.

Job Outlook

Job opportunities for all air transportation workers are expected to grow via approximately 7% for the decade ending in 2026, in line with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Avjobs.com projects that growth among smaller schedule carriers and in transport needs from on line stores will preserve airports busy, ensuing in a consistent want for airport control.

Work Environment

Even small airports take in a number of area, with branch managers spread out over many acres. Airport managers generally have an office in the essential terminal, but they also spend quite a few time in different elements of the airport, relying on how palms-on they may be. It's additionally commonplace for airport managers to be energetic in their communities, so they may spend a while inside the surrounding municipalities their airports serve, running with community leaders.

Work Schedule

Airport managers generally paintings throughout normal enterprise hours, however they may want to be available to respond to emergencies or whilst climate or other elements effect flight schedules.

How to Get the Job


Avjobs presents listings for aviation-associated jobs. Individual airports additionally list openings.


Tailor your resume particularly for management.


Prepare for questions commonly requested of management applicants.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People interested by airport control also might don't forget one of the following career paths, listed with median annual salaries:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018