are usually operated by a director or manager responsible
either to the private owners of the airport or to the
local government authorities. The airport manager must
be competent in public relations, economics, business
management, civil engineering, personnel management, labor
relations, and politics. The manager may be required to
make and enforce airport rules and regulations; plan and
supervise maintenance and safety programs; negotiate leases
with airport tenants, such as airlines; survey future
needs of the airport and make recommendations; set up
the airport budget; promote the use of the airport; and
train and supervise employees. Depending upon the size
of the airport, the manager may supervise an assistant
manager, engineer, controller, personnel officer, maintenance
superintendent, and supporting office workers.
College degree in airport management
base operators are retail firms that sells general aviation
products or services at an airport. Depending on the size
and scope of the airport’s operations, the FBOs
may employ linepersons or ramp service persons, aviation
mechanics, flight instructors, air taxi service and charter
flights, and/or aircraft salesperson. It also may employ
a licensed aviation mechanic to train and supervise mechanics.
FBO personnel will often arrange for ground transportation
and overnight accommodations for general aviation pilots
and their passengers.
Fixed Base Operator Manager
$24,000 - $65,000
H.S. diploma; college degree sometimes preferred
fixed base operator employs linepersons or ramp servicepersons
who meet arriving aircraft, guide them to parking spots,
assist pilots in securing their aircraft, and otherwise
serve the general aviation and airline customers. Linepersons
also fuel and service aircraft and report to the aircraft
owners any signs of possible trouble with their planes,
such as fluid leaks.
$8 - $15/hr
Airports, airlines, Fixed base operators (FBO's)
cooperation with the pilot, flight dispatchers furnish
a flight plan that enables the aircraft to arrive at its
destination on schedule with the maximum payload (such
as passengers, mail, cargo) and the least operating cost.
The flight dispatcher considers enroute and destination
weather, winds aloft, alternate destinations, fuel required,
altitudes, and traffic flow. He/she maintains a constant
watch on all flights dispatched and is the liaison between
the pilot and ground service personnel. The flight dispatcher
must be familiar with all airline routes and airport facilities
as well as with the takeoff, cruising, and landing characteristics
of all types of aircraft operated by the airline. Flight
dispatchers also take periodic flights in the cockpit
with the flight crew to observe flight routes, conditions,
Dispatcher's license; college degree and experience preferred
air traffic control specialists at FAA airport traffic
control towers (terminals) direct air traffic so it flows
smoothly and efficiently. The controllers give pilots
taxiing and takeoff instructions, air traffic clearances,
and advice based on numerous sources— their own
observations and information they receive from the National
Weather Service, Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC),
Right Service Stations (FSS), and aircraft pilots.
area controllers separate landing and departing aircraft.
They transfer control of aircraft on instrument flights
to the ARTCC controller when the aircraft leaves their
airspace, and they receive control of aircraft on instrument
flights coming into their airspace from controllers at
adjacent facilities. They must be able to quickly recall
registration numbers of aircraft under their control,
the aircraft types and speeds, positions in the air, and
also the location of navigational aids or landmarks in
The ARTCC controllers give aircraft instructions, air
traffic clearances, and advice regarding flight conditions
during the enroute portion of flights. They provide separation
between aircraft flying along the Federal airways or operating
into or out of airports not served by a terminal facility.
Center controllers use radar or manual procedures to keep
track of the progress of all instrument flights within
the center’s airspace. The controllers transfer
control of aircraft to the controllers in the adjacent
center or to the approach control or terminal when the
aircraft enters that facility’s airspace. Center
controllers are required to use computer equipment, radio,
radar, telephones, and other electronic communication
devices. Due to the radar equipment, they work in semi-darkness,
and unlike the controllers in airport traffic control
towers, they never see the aircraft they control except
as "targets" on the radar scope.
Air traffic control specialists also work in flight service
stations. They provide preflight, in-flight, and emergency
assistance to all pilots on request. They communicate
information about actual and forecast weather conditions
for a specific flight, relay air traffic control instructions,
assist pilots in emergencies, provide airport advisory
service, and initiate and participate in searches for
missing or overdue aircraft.
FAA training; college preferred
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
coordinators keep track of the location of aircraft and
crews; receives and relays reports of delays due to weather
and mechanical problems; estimates times of arrival; and
gives orders for substitution of aircraft when required.
The schedule coordinator may be involved in the diversion
of flights to alternate airports, and with seating arrangements
College degree preferred; experience helpful
known as the district operations managers, station managers
or agents are responsible for all flight and ground operations,
such as aircraft handling, passenger services, and air
cargo operations. At a small station, the manager may
sell tickets, make public announcements, check in baggage,
move portable boarding stairs, prepare passenger and air
cargo manifests, operate teletype machines and computer
terminals, and perform other needed services.
H. S. diploma; experience preferred
attendants assist passengers in the terminal in many different
ways such as answering questions about fares, helping
locate lost baggage, explaining missed connections, and
providing assistance to persons who are ill or in need
of a wheelchair.
freight/cargo agents receive air freight shipments, supervise
loading and unloading, and keep written records. They
handle contacts with air freight forwarders and customers,
and they use telephones, computers, and hand calculators
to do their jobs.
H. S. diploma, shipping experience
Airlines, air freight operators
are various types of ramp service personnel. The cabin
service person cleans the airplane and cockpit between
flights. Particular duties include vacuuming the floor,
picking up trash, washing lavatories and buffets, replacing
headrests and pillow covers, folding blankets, refilling
seat packets with magazines and safety information, refilling
the drinking water supply, and cleaning the cockpit windows.
Other service persons are responsible for the exterior
of the aircraft. They wash, polish, touch up paint, and
de-ice the outside of the airplane. They also work with
chemicals that are used to prevent corrosion of surfaces.
Other ramp personnel drive food trucks, mobile stairs,
employees’ buses, messenger cars, and conveyors.
They also may transport cleaning equipment, aircraft air
conditioning, and power carts.
maintenance mechanics clean and paint interiors of aircraft
during periodic major overhauls; removes and installs
carpets, seats, curtains, and bulkheads; and reupholsters
seats. He/she also overhauls and cleans electrical equipment
in cabins, such as lights, buffets, and coffee-makers.
H. S. diploma, technical training
airports with airline service employ a few firefighters
and rescue workers, some of whom may be trained as emergency
medical technicians or paramedics. Airport firefighters
are usually skilled in both aircraft firefighting and
building or structural fire-fighting.
College preferred, special training
may perform one or more of the following jobs: cutting
grass on airport grounds and maintain shrubbery; operating
snow removal equipment; servicing runway lights and replace
defective lamps and fuses; maintaining the airport’s
electrical services, paint, and general carpentry work
required for small repair jobs.
managers, sometimes called transportation or distribution
managers, direct and co-ordinate the transportation of
incoming materials from suppliers or raw material sources
and outgoing products to distribution houses and customers.
Degree in air transportation operations
Airlines, Air freight/cargo companies