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7 uate degree in a specific area and often require 1 to 3 years difficult. As a result, airports must allocate significant resources experience. Such jobs include positions in: to technical skills training for their entry-level staff. Further- more, budget constraints often limit the resources available Airside or landside operations management, for this training. Planning and engineering, and Business administration (marketing, finance, business When asked about their most common workforce devel- development). opment challenges, airports participating in this study noted that the entry-level workforce is typically hired with little Middle- and upper-level management jobs at airports aviation knowledge or experience. On-the-job training and involve not only experience and skill in the operation of the other succession planning activities are often limited at public- airport, but also increasing experience in the management of sector organizations such as airports, because most positions the organization itself. Requirements for such positions often cannot be filled until the incumbent, with his/her associated include at least 5 years of operational experience, with increas- experience, leaves. ing team management responsibilities. Often, either a master's degree or professional certification is highly recommended. It is evident that within the airport and ground services seg- ment of the industry's workforce development issues are con- In summary, for entry-level jobs, required skills focus more centrated on the need for a more targeted recruiting and hiring on technical knowledge, both aviation and non-aviation-based. strategy, and a need for a more strategic process of grooming Such skills include a knowledge of certain aviation regula- their workforce for management and leadership positions. tions, nomenclature, and standard operating procedures; famil- iarization with certain machinery and tools, in some cases AVIATION PLANNING, ENGINEERING, technical writing skills; and familiarization with certain com- AND CONSULTING FIRMS mon computer software programs (word processing, spread- sheets, presentation software, database development software, A large number of private firms and public organizations that website development, etc.). focus on the planning, engineering, construction, and finan- cial management of the nation's aviation system support As with most professions, fundamental attributes, such the aviation industry. A significant segment of this industry as a good work ethic, good written and oral communication is comprised of private engineering and consulting firms, skills, and the ability to work within small teams, are also ranging from very large multi-national engineering firms to important for entry-level positions. very small businesses or even "one-person shops." Regard- less of their size, these firms play a vital role in helping to For management- and executive-level jobs, required skills strategically plan, build, and manage the aviation industry. focus more on administrative experience including project The other large segment of this industry is found in public management, personnel management, financial management entities, ranging from local municipal planning departments and budgeting, and interacting with elected officials, the media, to offices within the FAA. and the general public. Similar to airports, aviation planning and strategic manage- A great challenge for organizations within the aviation ment organizations require a number of specific technical skills industry is to be able to develop the abilities of their entry- of their workforce, including the ability for management to suc- level employees to the point where they are ready for upper- cessfully manage projects, budgets, and staff. As opposed to level management positions. airports and ground service providers, however, these organi- zations require a workforce that is more analytical in nature. Airports tend to hire their entry-level workforce in a The ability to construct, evaluate, analyze, and find solutions to highly untargeted manner, primarily relying on open position given issues is the core requirement of the aviation planner. In announcements placed in publications ranging from trade mag- addition, the art of forecasting future demand and planning a azines, to industry websites, to local newspapers and munici- piece of infrastructure, or an entire aviation system, is a skills pal job boards. This is often because most airports must fol- requirement that requires constant development and growth. low hiring policies prescribed by the municipalities, counties, authorities, or other public agencies under which they operate. The Airport Consultant's Council is a member-driven orga- These policies include the requirement of public position post- nization representing those firms that focus on aviation and ings, but often offering preference to employees already within airport management consulting. Nearly 200 such firms are the municipal system and/or military veterans. active members of this organization. Council members per- form a variety of services to airport management and other An additional challenge is that technical skills and knowl- aviation industries including those listed in Figure 2. edge for much of the industry's entry-level positions are in many instances unique to the industry; therefore, finding Each of the services listed in Figure 2 require particular professionals with current expertise in these skills can be skills. For example, financial planning and analysis requires a

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8 Services offered by Airport Consulting Firms (as reported by member firms of the Airport Consultants Council) Planning Engineering Airport Layout & Master Planning Terminal Facilities Cost/Benefit Analysis Program Management Design-Build Construction Management Cost Estimation Security Cargo Hangar/Ancillary Facilities Pavement-Airside/Landside Design Scheduling Phasing Parking Vehicles Ramp Layout Roadways/Parking Plans & Design Environmental Plans: EA/EIS/Part 150 Site Inspections/Testing Drainage/Stormwater Management Architecture Expert Witness Electrical Lighting/Emergency Power Systems NAVAIDS Aviation Demand Forecasting People Movers/Rail/Mass Transit Heliports System Planning Pavement Management and Evaluation Land Acquisition/Relocation/Easements Financial Analysis Baggage Systems Survey Mapping/GIS Organizational Analysis/Strategic Planning Interior Design Information Technology/System Integration Economic Impact Analysis 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Number of Firms Reporting to Provide Service FIGURE 2 Common services provided by airport and aviation consulting firms. fundamental knowledge of finance and accounting, whereas the relative importance of these skills. As noted in the fig- simulation modeling requires a working knowledge of both ure, oral communication and presentation skills are particu- theoretical simulation analysis and particular computer sim- larly important for both entry-level and management posi- ulation modeling software packages. However, the results of tions, whereas project management skills are intuitively the research revealed that common skills are equally if not more important for upper management than for entry-level more important to successfully performing such services. positions. As shown, specific technical skills are viewed as These skills range from communication and presentation significantly more important for entry-level workers than for skills to project management experience. Figure 3 illustrates management.

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9 FIGURE 3 Ranked importance of particular workforce skills. Such results reveal the need for a properly educated and develop their existing workforce. The one exception, how- trained entry-level workforce in skills particular to their job ever, is the emphasis on on-the-job training, where entry-level activities, whereas management is required to be developed employees are mentored by senior personnel to prepare them as competent in general administrative skills such as team for upcoming levels of responsibility within the company. working and project management. Such a practice is typical of private-sector firms that have strategic visions for the future of their companies, and less Other traits important to entry-level positions noted by prevalent in public-sector organizations such as airports. queried firms included strong analytical and math skills, and general computer skills, as well as qualitative traits such as self- As with airports, consulting firms do send their workforce motivation, organizational skills, and a general passion for the to industry conferences and workshops to gain current knowl- work. Additional traits important to management-level posi- edge of industry trends and issues, and invest in industry tions included client-relationship skills, tact and diplomacy, training and certification programs to allow the workforce to and the knowledge of the proposal, contract, and procurement develop particular skills or earn particular accreditations. processes. Private-sector firms also tend to provide a certain level of resources to employees to earn higher education degrees. As with airports, planning, engineering, and consulting With the proliferation of on-line degree programs from many firms concentrate their efforts on the day-to-day operations accredited universities, the ability for an employee to take of their business, and primarily rely on external programs to courses and earn degrees has become increasingly feasible.