National Academies Press: OpenBook

Airport Operations Training at Small Airports (2020)

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Case Examples

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Airport Operations Training at Small Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25948.
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49 In an attempt to present the data collected for this synthesis and add value for the reader, this chapter shares actual airport practices related to unique and innovative airport operations training practices. Of the 182 airports participating in this study, 14 airports shared rather innovative training practices. These case examples were developed to share these unique prac- tices with readers. Table 4 shows a summary of case example airports. Case Example 1: John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Columbus, Ohio One of three airports owned and operated by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, John Glenn Columbus International Airport has developed a streamlined training program to minimize the length of time needed to train a newly hired operations employee. Developed partly in response to turnover and the need to bring new employees up to proficiency in an expedited manner, this program eliminates duplication of training and provides a structured approach to training new employees. Another benefit of this approach is the flexibility of trainers. Although new employees are traditionally assigned to specific operations supervisors for on-the-job training, with the standardized training program, training with another opera- tions supervisor will not negatively affect employees’ progress. They simply pick up where the previous trainer left off. The program has been successful at training new operations personnel, whether that new employee was previously an intern (little experience) or came from a full-time job at a different airport (some experience). The training program is mostly hands-on because the airport has found this approach to be most effective. Every other week, the operations supervisor has a check-in meeting with the new employee to verify progress and to assess retention of informa- tion. At the completion of the 6-week training program, a sign-off meeting is held with the operations supervisor. This meeting, equivalent to a job interview with scenarios to be solved and questions to be answered, assesses the employee’s knowledge and preparedness for the job. In an interview for this study, a representative of John Glenn Columbus International Airport said the following: While a person is in training their level of benefit [to the airport] is not fully optimized. They are not an expert in the field. We’re paying them basically to learn. The trainer is also distracted during training. But once on board and fully trained, the airport benefits. We found a six-week window to fully train our operations employees to be an ideal training duration. (C. Pollock, personal commu- nication, September 23, 2019) Admittedly, the 6-week program is a work in progress. Focused on continually improving the training experience, in addition to an assessment at the 6-week mark, the department C H A P T E R 5 Case Examples

50 Airport Operations Training at Small Airports Table 4. Case examples. Case Example Airport Location Airport Size Innovative Practice Case Example 1 John Glenn Columbus International Airport Columbus, Ohio Medium hub 6-week training program Case Example 2 Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport Wichita, Kansas Small hub Interactive courses Case Example 3 Fort Lauderdale– Hollywood International Airport Fort Lauderdale, Florida Large hub Computer- based learning Case Example 4 Greenville– Spartanburg International Airport Greer, South Carolina Small hub Proprietary learning management system Case Example 5 Gainesville Regional Airport Gainesville, Florida Nonhub Visits to peer airports Case Example 6 Crater Lake– Klamath Regional Airport Klamath Falls, Oregon Nonprimary commercial service Airfield scavenger hunt and Jeopardy Case Example 7 Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport DFW Airport, Texas Large hub LiveATC and driving simulator Case Example 8 Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport Kansas City, Missouri Reliever Operations presentations, identify animal remains, and Part 139 quiz show Case Example 9 Oregon Department of Aviation Salem, Oregon General Aviation Challenges and need for training tools Case Example 10 Brooksville– Tampa Bay Regional Airport Brooksville, Florida General Aviation Free FDOT training and webinars Case Example 11 South Bend International Airport South Bend, Indiana Nonhub Airport exchange program Case Example 12 Aspen–Pitkin County Airport Aspen, Colorado Nonhub Departmental cross-training program Case Example 13 Green Bay–Austin Straubel International Airport Green Bay, Wisconsin Nonhub Learning styles–based adaptive training Case Example 14 Ohio State University Airport Columbus, Ohio Reliever Unmanned aerial systems use NOTE: FDOT = Florida Department of Transportation. assesses every employee near the end of the 6-month probationary period. This assessment includes asking employees how their training process could have been improved. Airports considering the development of a streamlined training program “must write it down and get the training program into a format that is usable for [their] employees” (C. Pollock, personal communication, September 23, 2019). Without a structured program, training might lose efficiency and new employees may take longer to become proficient, which further affects operational staffing.

Case Examples 51 Case Example 2: Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, Wichita, Kansas The Wichita Airport Authority tasks an operations officer with overseeing both initial and recurrent training for operations department employees. Although training is recognized as a team effort, this operations officer has developed a number of e-learning modules using the soft- ware Articulate Storyline. Storyline allows for the development of interactive courses, enabling quiz-style presentations with interactive elements. “It’s a great platform for airport-specific sub- jects or subjects that we’ve noticed need extra attention” (J. Baltimore, personal communication, September 11, 2019). These e-learning courses are made available on a shared server to which all employees have access. Employees can print out completion certificates for verification of completed courses. Every month, the operations department posts training topics and courses that must be completed for recurrent training. The most significant challenge this airport has experienced with regard to training is employee retention of information. By regularly train- ing all employees each month and adopting the use of ANTN Digicast by AAAE, the airport has made progress in this area. Its advice to smaller airports desiring to improve their training program is as follows: “Reach out to people and don’t be afraid of the network” (J. Baltimore, personal communication, September 11, 2019). Case Example 3: Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida With a full-time training coordinator and the one-time use of a consultant, Fort Lauderdale– Hollywood International Airport has a well-developed computer-based learning (CBL) system and a number of course offerings that allow for in-house training of airport operations employees. Available CBL training includes nonmovement area driver training, Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) training, 14 CFR Part 139.303 required training, airportwide emergency response training, and customer service training. Specifically, the airportwide emergency training is county mandated for all 18,000+ airport employees in response to the January 2017 active shooter disaster at the airport. This 3-hour course addresses Assess/Run/Hide/ Fight, interacting with first responders, and more. Additionally, scenario-based learning might occur at the thrice-daily operations staff brief- ings. Hypothetical scenarios, based on actual past events, are presented to staff to generate dis- cussion and consideration of staff response. Although this practice benefits current employees in a recurrent training format, new hires are presented with scenarios near the end of their training to gauge their operational readiness. The airside operations group, which consists of about 30 employees, generally brings on only one new hire annually; thus, recurrent training occurs more frequently than initial training. New hires must complete training requirements in all three operational shifts before they are able to work independently. In addition to CBL, training includes classroom instruction and practical demonstrations (airfield inspections, fire extinguisher training, and drone operations). Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport has met and overcome several challenges in training its employees. First, tracking employee training for more than 18,000 employees has been challenging. Once handled manually, tracking is now spreadsheet based. Even so, it requires significant oversight so as not to miss any employees in need of recurrent training as required by FAA or the county mandate. Second, maintaining integrity of the training has been problematic. Some employees attempt to receive credit for partially completed training. This problem has resulted in the requirement of attendance sheets and visual observation by proctors present for all hours of training. CBL training can be verified by employee completion of training modules and successful passing of assessments.

52 Airport Operations Training at Small Airports In offering advice to smaller airports, the emergency manager recommends a train-the- trainer approach. The lead trainer can attend conferences and speak to other airports to learn of effective training methods. Subsequently, the lead trainer can train other trainers to assist with employee training. Online training solutions (such as ANTN Digicast) offer low-cost training on a variety of topics. Additionally, “you can gain experience and knowledge just by talking to other airports. Incorporate their best practices into your own training program” (K. Wu, personal communication, September 16, 2019). Case Example 4: Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport, Greer, South Carolina As part of an airport website update, this airport contracted with its web design firm to develop a proprietary learning management system (LMS) that would enable online training and tracking of completed employee training. This LMS allows for PowerPoint slides to be uploaded, which enables employees to train at their convenience. Most helpful to the airport, the LMS monitors employee training, notifying employees with an email reminder for training that must be completed by a certain date. In addition to operations training via the LMS, other airport departments such as human resources and the airport-owned FBO also use the LMS for their training needs. When classroom training occurs, this training can also be logged in the LMS to ensure complete training records for every employee. The airport has met and overcome a number of training challenges, including a lack of train- ing standards. Similar to the military’s use of the Specialty Training Standard, the airport had to develop training standards for all airport training. It was important for the airport to train all operations staff to the same standard to avoid developing a single expert in any one area. By adopting ANTN Digicast, the airport has introduced additional training content in a more engaging and stimulating way. In addition to its use by operations personnel, Digicast is being used by personnel in fire, police, facilities, information technology, and marketing. A monthly mandated training program requires operations employees to watch a specific ANTN video and to read a certain resource or attend specific classroom training. An annual training plan incorporates each of the 12 monthly training requirements to ensure all FAA- required training has been completed by all operations employees. Additionally, specific opera- tions employees are often tasked with researching a topic, developing a training module, and then presenting it to coworkers in operations. Case Example 5: Gainesville Regional Airport, Gainesville, Florida To provide both newly hired and current airport operations employees with a different air- field operational perspective, Gainesville Regional Airport created a peer airport tour program in 2001. The Gainesville Regional Airport operations manager contacts airports throughout the state of Florida to request an airfield tour for his operations staff as part of their train- ing. Airports visited thus far include Daytona Beach International Airport, Ocala International Airport, St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport, Punta Gorda Airport, Northeast Florida Regional Airport, Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport, and Palm Beach International Airport. During the tours, operations staff are afforded the opportunity to observe wildlife manage- ment; self-inspections; markings, signage, and lighting; and landside operations. Gainesville Regional Airport operations employees are able to network with peers at these airports and

Case Examples 53 share ideas, which aids in their training and learning, and also helps build a professional network that might long outlast their role at Gainesville Regional Airport. “When employees have only experienced and seen the airport they work at, they don’t have anything to compare and con- trast. By visiting other airports, they are given an opportunity to see other airports and to learn how they do things” (S. Blevins, personal communication, September 20, 2019). Although the tour program is quite popular among operations employees at Gainesville Regional Airport, it occurs only every 2.5 to 3 years. This time frame is mainly attributable to the average 3-year term of an operations employee at Gainesville before moving on to another airport. If airports were toured more frequently, the same employees would be visiting the same airports, which would yield fewer training benefits. Additionally, the program has been adopted by other airports whose employees visit Gainesville Regional Airport as well. To ensure that sufficient operations personnel remain on duty at Gainesville, the programs sends only half of the operations staff (approximately three employees) off site at any one time. The greatest challenge in implementing the airport tour program is the scheduling of tours and staff coverage. With strong support by the airport CEO and a welcoming Florida airport community, the airport has overcome this challenge. Despite expenses associated with the air- port tours (per diem, overnight lodging, transportation), the benefits received far outweigh the costs. “Our airport tours are a minimal part of our department training budget, yet more impactful for employees. For roughly $300, I can send three operations employees to visit three airports over the course of two days, which is more knowledge gained than they can read or hear in the classroom” (S. Blevins, personal communication, September 20, 2019). For airports considering developing an airport tour program, the Gainesville operations manager recom- mends developing ahead of time a list of questions that, when asked, will stimulate additional discussion during the tour. Case Example 6: Crater Lake–Klamath Regional Airport, Klamath Falls, Oregon Owned and operated by the City of Klamath Falls, Oregon, this airport has a significant mili- tary presence and houses the 173rd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard (ANG). With 45,000 annual operations (25,000 of those associated with the F-15 activity of the 173rd), the airport considers the ANG an extension of airport operations staff. For instance, all ANG airfield managers and ARFF crews are trained in FAA Part 139 standards, and those managers and crews are relied upon to conduct self-inspections during off hours. By focusing on com- munication and building relationships with the military personnel, the airport’s operations staff are able to expand their 139 compliance through this partnership with the ANG. In attempting to create interactive training experiences for city operations and ANG employees, the airport’s operations manager has developed Jeopardy-style quizzes and air- field scavenger hunts. The Jeopardy-style quizzes are made possible with a Jeopardy-style template for PowerPoint that was downloaded online. Numerous templates are available online, and many are free. In training that incorporates a Jeopardy-style activity, employees are more engaged, more competitive, and able to assess strengths and weaknesses regarding their level of knowledge. Airfield scavenger hunts are designed to stimulate airfield familiarization with employees on the airfield. Rather than presenting a PowerPoint slide on ILS components, for example, the trainer can build those components into a scavenger hunt, requiring employees (or teams of employees) to find an ILS component on the airfield and possibly answer questions that appear on a card located at the site of that component. Each hunt averages 8–10 waypoints that must be located via hints on cards. Winning employees are awarded gift cards. Airfield scavenger hunts

54 Airport Operations Training at Small Airports are generally part of an annual training program. “[Jeopardy and scavenger hunts] are a unique way as opposed to me talking or instructing. It gives them a different way to think about the material” (J. Goetz, personal communication, September 20, 2019). Case Example 7: Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport, DFW Airport, Texas The use of a driver simulator at Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has allowed airport operations to familiarize newly hired operations employees with the expansive air- field before ride-alongs on the airfield. The simulator accurately presents the DFW airfield to drivers in a low-stress environment, allowing trainees to make mistakes without conse- quences. More effective than simply studying an airfield map, driving the simulator allows employees to spend “time” on the airfield and observe markings, signage, and lighting while getting very familiar with the airfield. Once comfortable, employees participate in airfield ride-alongs and can then focus on self-inspections, for example, without being distracted by learning their way around the airfield. In reality, the driver simulator is used for every employee who requires access to the air operations area (AOA), including the movement area and the nonmovement area. Although the simulator has proven quite effective for initial training, employees are also required to successfully complete a driver simulator session every 2 years upon SIDA badge renewal. Additionally, DFW has used audio from LiveATC to familiarize airfield construction workers with radio phraseology and communications. By using an airfield map and locating haul routes, the trainer can ask, “Based on what you’re hearing, where is the aircraft located and is it safe to proceed?” (R. Colbert, personal communication, September 20, 2019). This unique training method has reduced incursions and made airfield construction projects safer. In offering advice to other airports, DFW’s technical training specialist recommends incor- porating plenty of hands-on training in the training program. For example, even on the airfield, the trainer may ask the employee to close his or her eyes, listen to the radio frequency, and indicate what the frequency is. At DFW, great emphasis is placed on maintaining situational awareness while on the field. Discovering engaging ways for employees to do so has presented a challenge, but the airport has successfully met this challenge with a driver simulator and use of LiveATC. Case Example 8: Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, Kansas City, Missouri A designated reliever airport for Kansas City International Airport and part of the Kansas City Aviation Department, Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport has four airport operations department employees, along with the assistant airport manager, with responsibility for ensur- ing Part 139 compliance. As part of FAA-required personnel training, an airport operations employee is tasked with researching an assigned Part 139 topic, preparing a PowerPoint presen- tation, preparing quiz questions, and presenting this information to fellow operations depart- ment employees. Topics are selected from the Part 139 required training, using FAA Advisory Circulars, the Airport Certification Manual, airport emergency plan, and wildlife hazard management plan as resources. This innovative method not only enhances employees’ under- standing of the topic but also improves confidence and presentation skills of the employee presenting, which aids in that employee’s professional growth. Further, as airport operations employees rotate specific project assignments about every 2 years, these PowerPoint presenta- tions can be used as refreshers for employees who are assigned new projects.

Case Examples 55 According to the assistant airport manager, operations employees also benefit from innova- tive training methods provided by others. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife biologists at the airport provide annual wildlife training in which they present the frozen carcasses of birds and small mammals and require operations employees to identify these remains. This practice sharpens the wildlife identification skills of operations personnel. Additionally, at the annual 4 States Airport Conference (which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska), FAA produces a Part 139 quiz show. Attendees watch numerous PowerPoint slides of Part 139 discrepancies and are tasked with answering the question, “What’s wrong with this?” Participants press the “That was easy” button to attempt an answer. With sound effects and the competitive nature of attendees, the quiz show is a welcomed method for iden- tifying Part 139 discrepancies. Like most airports, Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport has encountered several training challenges. First, the repetitive nature of regulatory training and the somewhat dry content had dulled employees’ enthusiasm; however, tasking employees with researching a topic, injecting their own personality into the presentation, and presenting it to their colleagues solved this problem. With this process, boring topics have become exciting again. Second, some employees were very uncomfortable with the idea of standing in front of their peers and giving a presenta- tion. To build confidence in those employees, the assistant airport manager provides one-on-one presentation and public-speaking coaching, including allowing practice presentations to her alone before the employee stands in front of a group. For airports endeavoring to enhance their airport operations training program, the assis- tant airport manager offers encouragement: “Keep at it! Knowledge is empowering. The more your employees know, the better they will be at maintaining safety and security of the airport” (L. Mix, personal communication, September 23, 2019). She also recommends collaborating with other airports to learn about other training methods. Finally, “don’t let training fall at the bottom of your to-do list. Training is so important for the edification and confidence of our employees. The more they know, the better they’ll do” (L. Mix, personal communication, September 23, 2019). Case Example 9: Oregon Department of Aviation, Salem, Oregon Owning and operating 28 GA airports at the state level presents unique challenges for the Oregon Department of Aviation (ODA). ODA has a maintenance staff of five, based in Salem, with maintenance and operational responsibility for the 28 state-owned airports throughout the state. Often traveling 7–8 hours to reach airports, these five employees are primarily hired for their maintenance and heavy equipment abilities yet are also responsible for conducting self- inspections (although not necessarily to Part 139 standards). Training of these personnel primarily includes safe operation of mowers and snowplows, runway incursion avoidance, and airport familiarization. Generally, all of the training occurs on the job. Because of ODA’s geographic reach and the need for maintenance staff to be on site performing maintenance tasks at airports of responsibility, training beyond that previously mentioned has been challenging to accomplish. As a result, ODA intends to improve its training program for maintenance personnel. ODA would benefit from resources to aid in standardizing training of maintenance personnel. First, ODA would benefit from having a simple airfield inspection checklist. Although detailed airfield inspection checklist templates do exist, the ODA director has found them to be overly detailed for his maintenance crew: “A good, simple airfield inspection checklist is needed” (J. Wilson, personal communication, September 25, 2019). Second, ODA would benefit from

56 Airport Operations Training at Small Airports having a comprehensive training policy. The director said that, although currently developing such a policy, ODA would benefit from a template: “I don’t believe in re-creating the wheel” (J. Wilson, personal communication, September 25, 2019). Third, a 1-hour video that presents generic driver training and airfield inspection standards for GA airports would be very useful for ODA employees. According to the director, “Time is such a precious commodity in our world. Our crews are paid to be on a piece [of] equipment or maintaining an airport. They are not paid to sit in an office and read a manual for 8 hours” (J. Wilson, personal communication, September 25, 2019). As such, ODA would benefit from additional training tools it could easily integrate into its operation, requiring little time but having a marked impact on the knowledge and abilities of personnel. Case Example 10: Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport, Brooksville, Florida A GA airport located in central Florida, the Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV) is staffed with five employees, including the airport manager, project manager, maintenance tech- nician, finance assistant, and administrative assistant. Because it has minimal resources avail- able for training and difficulty in allowing an employee to attend off-site training, the airport is generally unable to send personnel to conferences or fee-based training courses. Instead, the airport manager has searched for free and low-cost training opportunities, with special interest in those that allow employees to stay in-house. One such training program is offered by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Throughout the year, FDOT presents webinars on various airport topics, including economic development, zoning, sustainability, and operations. BKV’s airport manager has found that spe- cific staff, depending on their area of responsibility, benefit from participating in such webinars. This training can take place at their desks, yet it introduces employees to different ideas and speakers located elsewhere in the state. Another free training program has been created through a partnership between FDOT and the Florida Airports Council. Known as the Florida Aviation Professionals Academy (FAPA), in-person training is provided to groups of airport employees at various locations within the state on specific dates throughout the year. Designed more as a leadership development program, FAPA reviews aviation processes, policies, and requirements within Florida and prepares air- port personnel for new managerial roles. Although neither of these training programs is specifically designed to train airport operations employees, BKV is able to supplement the programs with on-the-job training specific to the airport. For example, the airport manager works with the maintenance technician in properly performing airfield inspections. In offering advice to other airports searching for free and low-cost training opportunities, BKV’s airport manager encourages airports to think outside the box. “Open your eyes to dif- ferent training opportunities” (K. Daugherty, personal communication, September 23, 2019). Nontraditional training methods may be very effective, especially for airports with a small or nonexistent training budget. Case Example 11: South Bend International Airport, South Bend, Indiana In partnership with five other airports, including Kalamazoo–Battle Creek International Airport and Fort Wayne International Airport, South Bend International Airport (SBN) has created an innovative airport exchange program for operations personnel. The program allows

Case Examples 57 one or two operations employees at SBN to trade places with the same number of operations employees at a partnering airport for 1 day. This even exchange of employees ensures an equal benefit for both airports. During the 1-day visit, exchange employees are exposed to the host airport’s policies and procedures, best practices, methods, and so on. They spend significant time on the airfield with that airport’s team of operations employees. Once returned to their home airport (SBN in this example), employees are required to draft a memo to their super- visor sharing a minimum of three items SBN performs better and at least three items the exchange airport does better. Operations managers at each airport then exchange this infor- mation, creating an environment of continual improvement and learning from peer airports. Challenges experienced with this program revolve around scheduling and coordination. First, scheduling the date of the visit between two airports with personnel on different shifts has been a challenge and is made more difficult by airfield construction projects, winter oper- ations, and other challenging circumstances at both airports. SBN has overcome this chal- lenge by coordinating with the other airport well in advance and being open to alternate dates. Second, coordinating the visit requires each airport to be vested in the visit, arranging resources to host the visiting personnel. At a minimum, one employee will need to remain with the visit- ing personnel throughout the day, adhering to a prearranged tour schedule. The schedule of the visits can be coordinated with the other airport to provide nearly identical experiences. If other airports would like to develop an airport exchange program, SBN’s operations manager encourages them to consider how easy such a program is to implement. Leadership at other airports may be quite receptive to the idea of an exchange program, which would provide benefits to employees of both airports. “It is up to both airports to decide if they want the program. Airports must also decide what they want employees to get out of it” (T. Miller, personal communication, September 25, 2019). Once an airport realizes that benefits out- weigh any obstacles, it can easily integrate learning from peer airports into an existing airport operations training program. Case Example 12: Aspen–Pitkin County Airport, Aspen, Colorado With 15 dedicated operations personnel, Aspen–Pitkin County Airport (ASE) once expe- rienced a high level of turnover and low morale among operations employees. In an effort to reduce turnover and increase employee morale, the director of operations, safety, and security developed a departmental cross-training program. This program allows operations employees to spend time in all airport departments, including finance and maintenance. As a result, goodwill has been generated among employees across the airport organization and operations employees have a better appreciation for the role of other airport personnel. Additionally, each new hire is assigned a training mentor, who coaches the new hire, and a trainer. The key to creating loyal and engaged operations employees, according to the director of operations, safety, and security, is to invest in employees. This investment can be accomplished in a number of ways. First, consider sending employees to various industry training events, including Basic and Advanced ASOS, as well as Basic and Advanced Snow Academy. Second, provide support for employees to achieve airport industry certifications. At ASE, operations employees are supported in obtaining the ACE operations and Certified Member designations. Third, allow employees to become more involved, for example, by allowing employees to par- ticipate in the ranking of proposals (in response to an RFP), procurement, and other operations and non-operations-related activities. The challenge most experienced at ASE was operations employees who did not care. When employees do not care, both compliance and safety decrease. Addressing this challenge required a culture change, which was not easy. By investing in people, however, including providing

58 Airport Operations Training at Small Airports significantly more training and professional development opportunities than were available in the past, ASE began to change its culture. Employees began buying in to organizational goals and began taking pride in their work. For airports desiring to enhance employee morale and decrease turnover, ASE says the process “must start with your people. Get them involved. Give them something to own” (C. Bonynge, personal communication, September 25, 2019). Although developing a depart- mental cross-training program similar to ASE’s may be appropriate, it is important to “start small” (C. Bonynge, personal communication, September 25, 2019). Regardless of which path to employee investment the airport chooses, it is important to remember that “people are your most important asset” (C. Bonynge, personal communication, September 25, 2019). Case Example 13: Green Bay–Austin Straubel International Airport, Green Bay, Wisconsin With the understanding that adult learners have unique learning styles, the assistant airport director at Green Bay–Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB) has developed an adap- tive airport operations training program. New employees are first asked about their preferred learning style. If they are unsure, they are provided with a free online learning style assessment to determine their preferred learning style. After determining employee learning styles, the airport trainer can adapt the training methods for each employee to capitalize on his or her learning style. GRB has encountered several challenges to training based on learning styles. First, an employee may have never considered his or her preferred learning style. Typically, asking the employee to complete an online learning styles assessment has provided the needed insight. Second, an employee may be hesitant to notify the trainer if the training is inconsistent with his or her preferred learning style. To overcome this problem, employees are encouraged on the first day to share any training concerns with their trainer. Third, if an employee has a learning disability, such as dyslexia, the trainer must be flexible in meeting the employee’s training needs. In providing advice to other airports desiring to improve their training program, GRB’s assis- tant airport director suggests being innovative, flexible, and patient with employees. Not every- one is skilled at training. Find and cultivate those senior employees who are skilled at training and imparting knowledge. “Most of the time airports want to check a [training] box and be done with it. But what good is checking a box if you’re not learning anything new?” (R. Engeler, per- sonal communication, September 23, 2019). When they consider individual employee learning styles and adapt the training method to provide the best training delivery, airports will see how training efforts provide greater benefits, enhancing employee knowledge and creating a safer airport environment. Case Example 14: Ohio State University Airport, Columbus, Ohio The airport owned and operated by Ohio State University is uniquely oriented toward edu- cation and training. By integrating unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into its operation, this airport has not only enhanced efficiency of operations but also significantly enhanced the effectiveness of training. Ohio State University airport owns a DJI Matrice 210, as well as several DJI Phantom 3 UAS. Four operations personnel are FAA Remote Pilots and quali- fied to operate the various UAS. The UAS are adequately equipped to generate high-quality imagery (still and motion) and heat signatures with an infrared camera.

Case Examples 59 The UAS are used for aerial documentation and visual verification of discrepancies prior to and after repair; reflectivity of markings; documentation images prior to and after construc- tion projects; as-built drawings for engineering; height, markings/lighting/flag, and location of cranes; and wildlife, as well as for perimeter inspections and law enforcement and ARFF support. One practice most useful for training is for the airport to attach an unmanned aerial vehicle to the top of an airport operations vehicle and, while recording full-motion video, con- duct a self-inspection. This self-inspection video is then used to train new employees on what to look for, suggested driving route, preferred location of lighted X, location of barricades, and so on. Additionally, ARFF personnel use video of live fire exercises to train their new personnel. The thermal camera is most helpful for ARFF in detecting hot spots in a fire, which can enable a more responsive attack. All training videos can also be used in the Ohio State University class- room for the benefit of students. The airport obtained a Certificate of Authorization from FAA in October 2018, which has allowed flights of UAS on-airport. The airport has also obtained a nighttime waiver, which allows flights of UAS during hours of darkness. The airport has a Letter of Agreement in place with the local air traffic control tower, which ensures an understanding between both entities regarding UAS operations on-airport. According to the airport business development manager, airports considering acquiring UAS for training purposes should first consider the mission. In other words, what is the purpose of acquiring the UAS? If for wildlife monitoring, thermal imaging is recommended. Some platforms are sensitive to winds and precipitation, whereas others are less so. “Unless the airport has an unlimited budget, you won’t be able to do it all” (A. Wolf, personal communication, December 5, 2019). The airport must also work toward developing a great relationship with the local air traffic control tower. “Trust is key” (A. Wolf, personal communication, December 5, 2019). Finally developing a standard operating procedure (SOP) and ensuring all operators have their FAA Remote Pilot certificate will enable safe operations. Summary These case examples have presented innovative training practices, although some (such as a driver simulator) will be rather expensive to incorporate. Small airports with limited funds can invigorate their training programs by pursuing low-hanging fruit (such as scavenger hunts, Jeopardy-style training, free webinars, LiveATC, presentations by operations personnel, iden- tification of animal remains, Part 139 quiz shows, learning styles–based adaptive training, and departmental cross-training). Airports with additional training funds can consider visits to peer airports, airport exchange programs, and creation of e-learning courses. More expensive training tools include UAS and driver training simulators. Regardless of which training prac- tices are adopted, the important consideration is that the airport does something. By adopt- ing a continuous improvement mindset toward training, airports will ensure that operations employees continue to grow in the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to support safe and efficient airport operations.

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Managers of airports of all sizes face a perennial dilemma: how to efficiently train operations personnel to meet Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139 requirements and ensure a safe and secure airport environment.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Synthesis 112: Airport Operations Training at Small Airports focuses on airport operations employees and aims to better understand current training methods and programs in use by small airports in the United States (including nonhub, nonprimary commercial service, reliever, and general aviation) to initially and recurrently train airport operations employees.

Supplemental material to the report includes several appendices, including Appendix H, Appendix I, Appendix J, Appendix K, and Appendix L.

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