At the heart of every airport is its Operations Department. I don’t say that simply out of loyalty to the discipline in which I worked for 30 years at MSP but because I truly believe that the airport’s reputation lives and dies on the performance of its operations staff, those who keep the airport up and running each day and ensure the safety of the public whenever they are on airport property. The reputation of every airport depends upon its ability to be open to the public, providing safe and secure access to our air transportation system. The trust that the public has in its ability to have safe and expeditious movement through an airport is the determining factor of the reputation of that airport. Safety, security and the expeditious handing of the traveling public is at the heart of an airport’s responsibility, and it is the operations staff at the airport that makes this heart beat.
I say all this not to minimize the contribution of all other departments in the airport organization, because the public has the right, for example, to expect efficiency in the management and administration of the airport as well as a welcoming and pleasant environment, offering products and services they find useful and necessary. But the failure to provide the latest gadget store or most up-to-date dining experience will not appreciably alter the publics’ opinion of the airport. Nor will failure to complete a capital project on time and on budget sufficiently alter its perception. However, one airfield accident or one security incident, either of which could lead to injury or death, will severely impact, if not eliminate, the trust that has been established within the minds of the flying public.
I work with airports to help minimize the chances for failure in the operations arena. If you think your airport could use a second set of eyes to review your operations plans and procedures or if you have an unresolved operations related issue, I would be happy to discuss what I can do to help.