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Airport Terminal Operations Managment

Empire State College


Title of Learning: Airport Terminal Operations Management
Credits Requested 4
I have been working in the supervisory and managerial capacity at Terminal 4 John. F.
Kennedy international airport since November 2000 and I continue to work on the same airport
terminal as an Airside Operations Manager. My previous professional experience in the aviation
industry as an air traffic controller, and airline operations supervisor has been a starting point on
developing my abilities to manage complex operations at a busy international airport terminal. As
terminal operators of an international airport our product is to provide the airside( airfield) and
land side (terminal) facilities and services to tenant airlines enabling them to operate with safety
and economical efficiency according to the international standards , federal ,state, and local
regulations.
Airside operations management applies the basic concepts and principles of management
according to the aviation industry specifications in order to achieve its products and services.
Airport operations evolve over a continuous and mixed flow of operations whereby both types of
service exist in the standard and customized form.
In a brief description daily tasks and responsibilities of the airside operations manager are
to direct and coordinate airside / terminal side operations, manage daily and long term
performance of subordinate staff and service contractors, participate in the development and
training of supervisory staff, liaise operational issues with tenant airlines and government
agencies, prepare operations statistical reports on daily and monthly basis as required for the
directional board.
Managing airport terminal operations at an international airport requires managing a
widely diverse work force with wide spectrum of cultures. Following initial hiring process of
subordinate employees as an airside operations manager I organize, and manage the training
process for the airside operational crew by setting training objectives for each employee on the
particularities of the sectors she/he is expected to serve. In addition to setting the training
objectives airside operation managers also take active part on the training process, and once the
training process is completed following the evaluation process each employee is assigned to
perform his duties on her/his sectors position.
Managing the subordinate staff starts with a sound understanding of the technicalities of

Airport Terminal Operations Managment

each position such as terminal arrivals supervisor, terminal departures supervisor, ramp planning
supervisor, apron control supervisor, ramp patrol supervisor, and central control coordinator.
Detailed knowledge of what the responsibilities of each position are, and how these positions fit
into the operational structure is a must in order to properly manage those valuable company
resources into the day to day operations.
Each airline regardless of its status whether it is an international, domestic or a charter
carrier normally operates within a given schedule which is predetermined and published
accordingly. On duty ramp supervisor generates the appropriate database for the aircraft fleet,
time of operation, departure and destination airport, including other operational specifications
.These information is entered on the Airport Management Information System (AIMS) software
which is the central operational software and feeds the information through the terminal service
network.
On the next stage of operations aircrafts are pre-planned using Gate Flow Management
System software (GAMS) which derives graphical interface from (AIMS) for their
arrival/departure process and are allocated on their specific gates according to aircraft
specifications and flight types such as international or domestic. Aircraft are monitored through
the radar displayed flight tracks system for positional updates during the flight , and after landing
they are directed from the apron controller on the pre-designated gate for ground handling which
includes off load, maintenance, security checks, fuelling catering, and final loading of passengers
mail ,and freight.
As an airside operations manager I am required to monitor the accuracy of flight data that
ramp supervisors have entered on the (AIMS) and (GAMS) system, direct and make changes to
the flight processing including planning stage ensuring that the flight activities of various fleets
are properly processed ,and that aircraft movements are efficiently ,and safely directed from the
apron controller through aircraft ground movement paths on the designated parking gates for
handling.
International arrivals operation

aims the safe, expeditious, and economical processing of

arriving aircrafts as well as passengers and their belongings through the terminal facility into
customs and border protection area where appropriate federal inspections are made before the
passengers exit the terminal. Arrivals terminal supervisor monitors the arrivals process and
coordinates with airline supervisors flight off loads carousel assignments and any special
handling.

Airport Terminal Operations Managment

Departure process includes allocation of check in facilities where passengers are processed
through check in procedures, security screening, and finally boarding from the terminal through
the jet ways to the aircrafts. Departures terminal supervisor is in charge of monitoring the
processing of departing passengers form the check in to the boarding process, and coordinates
with airline supervisors any required additional special handling.
As an airside operations manager I am also responsible to manage the overall arrivals and
departures process within the terminal, ensuring that the process is conducted in accordance to the
pre set daily planning .If necessary in order to facilitate operations when circumstances dictate I
make changes to the operational planning, brief with arrivals and departures supervisors regarding
new changes to take effect, and monitor that the adjusted plan has been executed accordingly.
In order to maintain operational safety in the apron area

ramp patrol units monitor from

close proximity on the field aircraft ground movements, aircraft parking , ground handling such
as off load, maintenance, fuelling ,catering, and boarding in order to ensure that flights are
processed in accordance with safety operational standards. Their main focus is the enforcement of
federal, state, and local safety regulations, and if necessary issue violation infractions to the
violating parties. Like all other subordinate units, ramp patrol units report directly to the airside
operations manager for the progress of the day, who in turn directs their focus of operation
according to the daily priorities as requested in the interest safe flight handling.
Managing airport terminal service contractors is another task of the airside operations
manager .This task requires managing the daily and long term performance of contracted
facility maintenance department , their subcontractors, and security contractors. Facility
department is allocated the daily tasks of maintaining the facility which includes scheduled and
non scheduled maintenance tasks including additional facility development projects. Airside
operations manager in coordination with the facilities maintenance supervisor monitor the
progress, and ensures that any maintenance task on taxiway surfaces and their associated lighting
system, jet bridges, check in facilities, conveyer belts, and other facility items are completed on
time and are returned for function to the operations department within the predetermined time
frame according to the required safety and operational standards.
With the new world wide developments airline industry has increased its awareness on
security issues which in turn has created a new approach on how international airports address
security concerns. In addition to government law enforcement agencies, security contractors play

Airport Terminal Operations Managment

an important role on securing the airport terminal premises airside or landside. As an airside
operations manager in coordination with the security supervisors I organize and monitor a well
established network or security system which includes allocation of security guards, and focused
concentration of electronic surveillance equipment.
Surveillance of the premises enforcing security procedures, and time response on
emergencies is a high priority task that requires efficient managing of the security resources
prioritizing each front in a proper order and maintaining a high quality network of
communications within the security structure.
Managing airport operations as an airside operations manager I am also required to
maintain close coordination, and liaison with government agencies. Those agencies include
federal Aviation Administration, United States Customs and Border Protection, and other federal
or state law enforcement agencies. During my operating hours I maintain an open network of
communications with these agencies, consults with them, makes plans, decisions, and direct my
subordinate or contracted personnel in order to achieve an uninterrupted operational process safe
and secure for the public at the same time economically rewarding for the airlines.
For each airport operations sector regardless if it is ramp planning, apron control,
arrivals ,departures, facilities, or security sector requires implementation of a planning process
that maximizes participation of the subordinates .As an airside operations manager throughout
the day I need to prioritize and plan my work by budgeting my time for maximum efficiency.
Integrating efforts of all sectors also requires applying smooth transitional changes into existing
operational plans .Motivating employees to increase their quality performance also requires that
as a manager I lead by example, maintain full responsibility of subordinate activities, and provide
required expertise assistance whenever it is needed.
I have also taken several company organized training classes aiming on building and
refining managerial skills. These classes include advanced training on customer services,
communications and coordination in the organization, diversity in the workplace, conflict
resolution, as well as employee development and motivation. Additional managerial training
includes experience exchange programs with airside operation managers from other international
airports overseas.
One of the most important aspects of my managerial task is to gather and analyze complex
information from multiple sources, make timely decisions, communicate directions clearly and
concisely, and monitor task performance according to the pre-established benchmarks. At the

Airport Terminal Operations Managment

beginning of each shift a detailed briefing is completed with the outgoing shift so that all the
operations structure is briefed for the key operational points that need special attention during the
day.
As a manager , inspection of the operations sequence enables me to make a proper
assessment of the operations dynamics ,provide proper feed back to the department of the current
findings , and when necessary recommend or implement changes .
At the end of the day the before securing my shift , one of my final managerial duties is
the consolidation of the work tour which pertains crew debrief , documentation of daily
activities, preparation of statistics for those activities such as total arriving departing flights
including a break down to the types of flight activity international or domestic including
passenger flow. With the completions of these statistics I generate the Daily Revenue Report
package which is furnished to the finance department for revenue collection and processing.
Periodically I am also required to chair the operations briefing with the board of directors
on which various operational aspects are discussed, new strategies are made and directives are
given on a new operational course of action to be followed. At the conclusion of the briefing I
associate board decisions with an executional plan, and relay this plan for compliance
throughout the network of the operations managers, supervisors and other related subordinate
staff.
Operating at a managerial level on one of the biggest international airports has been
rewarding professional experience which has increased my cultural awareness enabling me to
work with a diverse workforce ,has strengthened my abilities to think critically ,make sound
decisions under stressful conditions ,and communicate in a professional level within all the
chains of the industry. It has also enabled me to better understand the world globalization factor
within the industry, its affect on other related industrial fields, assess and anticipate changes, and
take proactive actions when needed in order to remain ahead of the turning curve of constant
change.