Airport management is an important position in both Commercial Service and General Aviation airports. Each day you have a mental checklist of all of the responsibilities dealing with the management of your airport.

The most important responsibility is safety: checking the runway, parallel taxiway, ramp areas, hangar taxing areas and overall ground for any abnormality and debris that could be hazardous. Usually my husband, Jim, would drive the grounds for a visual inspection of the airport. Sometimes we would ride around together to inspect everything from landscaping areas and grass height to runway conditions and ice and snow concerns.

It is also important to do a daily check of the electrical components for operational safety: runway and taxiway lighting, hangar doors, fuel system, terminal building, and security gates. As an airport manager, I also made sure that everything was secure in the perimeter fencing, terminal buildings and hangars.

Another important daily check list item is the Unicom. This communication tool is used from the ground to the pilot who is approaching or passing over your airport. It is also used for advising pilots on the ground to any activity that may be happening in their area. The radio system designates where an aircraft is located near your airport, or to notify anyone flying an aircraft or your presence in the area. The Unicom is important because it is the only means a pilot has to contact an airport for landing purposes or if there is a mechanical problem.

Every airport has to have an Airport Security Plan that holds all of the necessary procedures and contacts. These reports include the date of the inspection, name of the person who did the inspection, results found, and follow up on the repair that is done. It is vital to keep records up to date and well worth the time to have everything on file. Knowledge of all the policies and procedures regulating the airport are vast and very important. They are implemented daily and have to be followed strictly.

My husband and I worked as a team in airport management. He was the responsible party, but we both did the inspections. Many times, an airport manager is called the “go between” or “overseer” of projects at the airport. The manager is responsible for knowing what projects are going on, the plans and specifications of that project, and the ability to implement the project. He/she deals with contracts, contractors, planning, engineers, inspections and the actual construction.

The knowledge that an airport manager has is invaluable. From knowing and following procedures to acquiring and securing grants, the airport manager is able to not only improve and upgrade their own airport, but attract industry and prosperity for all.


Get to the point above,

Karen Connell