Airport business departments handle the identification, review and prioritization of new business opportunities that will enhance the passenger experience, as well as air service development. Responsibilities of this department may include the outreach, solicitation and award of contracts to new businesses. Activities of this department may also include measuring and reporting passenger satisfaction and engagement to map and design effective business decisions to meet customer needs.
Communications and Marketing
The airport communications and marketing department is responsible for raising awareness of the airport by promoting activities and initiatives, along with acting as the point of contact for media relations involving the facility. Common responsibilities include creating public relations strategies, developing community outreach programs, marketing new air service, and responding to media inquiries and requests.
The airport financial department is responsible for the oversight of airport resources to maintain a fiscally sound and sustainable operation. Key responsibilities include calculating tenant rates, fees and charges, and administering operating and capital budgets. Management of airport financials requires thorough analysis and administration of airport investments, grants, Passenger Facility Charges, and Customer Facility Charges. Additionally, this department may be tasked with managing business relationships with tenants and public services, such as air carriers, car rental companies and concessionaires.
Government Relations and Community Relations
The government relations department develops and implements the legislative and regulatory agenda of the airport requiring analysis of legislative and regulatory actions at the federal, state and local levels. Advocacy of airport initiatives also involves coordination with contracted advocates in Sacramento, California’s State Capitol, and Washington, D.C. Community relations includes maintaining partnerships with key airport stakeholders, including residents of the surrounding communities, current and potential airport employees, small businesses, and local students interested in airport careers.
The airport human resources department is dedicated to supporting the airport workforce to create an efficient and high-performing organization. This department handles talent acquisition, employee benefits programs, training and development, as well as monitoring retention and performance indicators.
The airport information technology (IT) department holds the critical responsibility of maintaining and improving the airports’ IT infrastructure, including hardware, software and communications technology. In addition to providing IT services to airport departments and employees, the IT department typically provides and maintains airline common use services such as kiosks and workstations at gates and ticket counters.
Airports with larger operations typically retain counsel on staff to obtain legal advice and representation. Legal counsel is generally responsible for assisting preparation of leases, contracts and other legal documents, preparing and reviewing ordinances and resolutions, as well as assisting with preparation of airport bonds. Legal counsel also offers guidance on claims and lawsuits as they usually represent the airport in all litigation and legal matters.
Museums located inside airports generally host both a changing schedule of exhibitions and a permanent collection. Exhibitions provide travelers and the general public with a culturally rich experience. Work in an airport museum can include the accessioning and maintenance of the permanent collection, processing donations or loans to the collection and/or exhibition program, and photography of exhibits for the online collection.
The airport operations department is tasked with a myriad of responsibilities includes airfield operations, emergency management, facilities management including response to tenant service requests and terminal inspections, as well as oversight of ground transportation operations from the terminal curb and roadways to the parking lots. The operations department ensures that airport activities are incompliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations.
Planning & Development
Airport planning and development departments generally provide planning services for the airport ranging from short-range essentials such as administrative space needs to long-range efforts requiring preparation and management of the airport master plan used to determine the long-term development plans of the facility. These departments may also be responsible for executing the airports’ development plans including the design and construction of terminal, airside and landside improvements.
Police and Fire
Airport police and fire departments assist with the safety and security of passengers traveling to and from the airport. Airport police enforce airport rules and regulations within secure areas of the terminal and landside property, while airport fire departments respond to ground emergencies which may include incident response, hazard mitigation, evacuation and possible rescue of passengers and crew of an aircraft.
Due to the size and scope of airport operations and construction projects, many airports house departments that work to achieve the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social. Economic sustainability efforts include conducting outreach for small business and job opportunities at the airport. Environmental programs include air quality management, storm water management, waste reduction and recycling, wildlife preservation, noise mitigation, and hazardous materials management. These programs support airports’ environmental stewardship efforts to promote a green environment for California’s communities. Social sustainability is achieved through innovative internship and training programs for youth, students, and diverse populations.