Required knowledge, skills, and abilities for an airport director includeÂ in-depth knowledge of federal and state rules and regulations affecting the operation of civilian airports; thorough knowledge of airport real estate leasing and contracting practices; air service development and marketing experience; ability to present facts clearly and concisely in oral and written communications in dealing with the authority, with the media and with staff; a proven leadership record; effective listener and negotiator who is able to build consensus; ability to manage sudden change and shifting priorities; and high integrity and demonstrated success in implementing programs.
Working as an airport director affords the chance to devise and implement major programs. Successful outcomes can help shape the direction of the airport.
The job of an airportÂ director can be stressful and require dealing with emergencies, staff shortages, or problems with airport equipment. At many airports, the airport director must be on call 24 hours a day and respond quickly to any emergency that arises.
Candidates for the job of airportÂ director should have strong written and oral communication skills, problem-solving and organizational skills, and be familiar with government aviation regulations as they apply to the airport. A valid and current driver’s license is required. Federal law requires that new hires pass employment verification and fingerprint checks. A federal security clearance is also required for this position.
Employers prefer candidates with a four-year degree in business administration, airport or aviation management, economics, engineering, or a related field. A graduate degree is a plus.
American Association of Airport Executives accreditation (AAAE) is preferred. Five to ten years of progressively responsible commercial airport management experience is usually required.
Some training will be on-the-job.
Salary and Benefits
Benefits may include paid vacation, dental and life insurance, sick leave, and retirement plan.