Airport Operations Supervisor

Ensure airport employees and machines adhere to all federal regulations.
picture of Airport Operations Supervisor

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $83,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Airport Operations Supervisors do?

In an airport, travelers are checking in or walking out, Barista are making coffee, Pilots are steering planes on the tarmac, and motorists are speeding away in their rented cars. If everything runs smoothly, the airport is a pleasant, and busy, place to be. This is the fervent wish of the Airport Operations Supervisor. When you’re the Airport Operations Supervisor, all of the activities that take place in the airport are your direct or indirect responsibility.

A large set of federal rules and regulations governs how the airport must run, and as an Airport Operations Supervisor, you’re responsible for making sure your facility is in compliance. Everything from screening checkpoints to baggage handling is covered in these rules, and you’re often required to write reports to prove that your team is doing everything right.

Vendors often want to set up shop so they can sell food, drinks, tchotchkes, and books to bored passengers. You set up rental agreements with these vendors and you collect their monthly rental checks. Periodically, you stop by the booths for friendly chats, just to make sure all is well.

Hiring, evaluating, and managing staff are your responsibilities as well. In a large airport, you may have hundreds of workers to supervise, so you hire a team of secondary Managers to spread out the work. In a small airport, you keep the power for yourself.

If a bird wanders across the runway, a bomb threat is called in, or a freak snowstorm hits, you communicate directly with Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers. Then, you talk to Reporters and explain the situation. These may be stressful days, but they’re also likely to be rare.

Should I be an Airport Operations Supervisor?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Cargo Operations Manager, Ground Operations Supervisor, Sort Operations Supervisor

    How to Become an
    Airport Operations Supervisor

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