Administration of Airports

Chapter – 6.3

Administration of Airports



Several bodies of national and international functions are involved in the daily functions and administration of an airport. An airline must closely co-ordinate with various bodies at the airport and outside the airport to make its operation successful.

Let us look at the various bodies that play a key role in the administration of airports.


Types of Airport Administration

Airport Administration depends on the types of ownership of the airport. They can be either one of the following types:

  • Government Owned and Operated Airport
  • Joint Venture Greenfield Airport
  • Civil Enclaves

Types of Airports

Examples in India


Government owned and Operated Airport

NSCBI Airport, Kolkata

Owned by Govt. of India, and Govt’s State looked after by AAI

JV Green Field Airport

MIAL (Mumbai International Airport Ltd.)

Minority Stake of Govt. of India , on lease to GVK Group, who have formed a consortium with foreign venture.


Civil Enclave

Bhuj Airport

One of the wing of Armed Forces (India Air Force at Bhuj) looks after the Airport, only the Terminal Building is with AAI


Government Owned and Operated Airports

Government Owned and Operated Airports are of two types:

  • Regular Airports – Airports wholly owned and operated by AAI
  • Civil Enclaves at Defense Airports-Airports in which only Terminal building is with AAI, and rest of the Airport is under the control of the Defense Force /Army/Navy or Air Force.


Bhuj Airport– under Air Force controlE

Goa Airport – under control of the Navy

That is why Administration of Airports differs depending on who controls

the Airport.


Persons Involved in Administration of Airports Airport Director and CEO

Typically, a Government owned airport is headed by either:

  • An Airport Director, who is practically the CEO of the Airport.
  • At some of the smaller Airports the Airport Director could be of the rank of General Marnager or Deputy General Manager in Airports Authority of India Ltd.


The Airport Director is the overall in-charge of the Airport and is accountable for all the functioning of the Airport, Which includes daily administration of the airport as well as the Director / CEO, broadly different persons head different wings in airport operations.

The different wings in airport operations could be headed by:

  • General Manger (GM)
  • Deputy General Manager (DGM)
  • Assistant General Manager
  • General Manager Operation
  • General Manager Airport
  • General Manager Engineering and Maintenance
  • General Manager Cargo
  • General Manager Medical Services
  • Airport Manager
  • Senior Airport Manager
  • Apron Manager
  • Terminal Manager

Responsibilities of the General Manager

The General Manager (Operation) is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the working of the Ground and Flight Safety department
  • Providing administrative support for effective functioning


The General Manager (Airport Terminal) is responsible for administration for all passenger Terminal Buildings.

The General Manager (Cargo) is responsible for overall cargo handling  Operations at Cargo Terminal. The General Manager reports to theAirport Director.

Wings under Airport Operations

On a broad scale the wings under Airport Operations are

  • Terminal Building
  • Airside Management
  • Ground and Flight Safety
  • Engineering
  • Planning
  • Medical Services
  • Electrical Services
  • Fire and Safety
  • ATC

Various Agencies at an Airport

The various agencies operating at an airport are:

  • Airport Operator

Airport Operator is the owner of the airport responsible for all activities at the airport

  • Air Operator

Air Operator is responsible for all airlines operating from the airport

  • Aviation Security Group (ASG) – formally known as the APSU, is responsible for all security related aspects of the Airport.

Aviation Security Group (ASG)

ASG has the responsibility for all security related operations. In India, ASG

is looked after by either of the two;

  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) or
  • State Police

The chief of ASG is known as Chief Airport Security Officer (CASO).


Various Agencies at an International Airport

At the International Airport, there are several other agencies operating at the airport such as:

  • Customs Department
  • Immigration Department
  • Health Department
  • Plant and Animal Quarantine
  • Other Vendors

Customs Department at International Airports.

The Customs department is responsible for check of he baggage of arriving and departing passengers, crew, and cargo from the point of anti-smuggling, and they levy the Customs Duty on goods transported in the baggage or in the cargo as per the instructions prevalent of the day. It provides the passage of green channel by giving clearance to:

  • International passengers with baggage and goods within the limits offree allowance
  • NRIs, ladies, aged persons
  • Foreign Currency Declaration
  • Duty free equipment’s under prescribed limits


Immigration Department

The Immigration department follows rules and regulations issued by the government of a country .Immigration counters are both at the Arrival and Departure level.

The immigration department performs the following roles:

  • Receives information by aircraft Captain /Manager on persons brought
  • by them into country
  • Checks travel documents and eligibility of document holder to leave or
  • enter a country
  • Refuses permission to any person or aircraft for entry into a country
  • Grants permission to any person or aircraft to enter or leave the country


Health Department

The airport health officer belonging to the airport Health department is responsible for implementing the regulation under health check at an airport.

The Health department performs many duties. A few of them are listed below.

  • Quarantine
  • Disease Surveillance
  • Aircraft Disinfection
  • Vaccination
  • Clearance of Dead Body
  • Medical Clearance
  • Environmental Health
  • Food and catering Inspection
  • Rodent Control

Plant and Animal Quarantine

Plant and animals may carry various diseases that may affect humans, animals, valuable commodities of economic importance like fruits and vegetables.

The Plant and Animal department performs the following functions:

  • Screening/ laboratory investigating plant/ animal under quarantine
  • Fumigating infested plant and plant material
  • Treating infested plant and plant material with pesticide
  • Detecting fungal and latent diseases in plant/ plant seeds /animals

Other Vendors

The international terminal building also has several other vendors and agencies that provide facilities to passengers in transit.

A few of them are listed here:

  • Duty Free shops
  • Snack bars
  • Magazine vending machines
  • Courier counter
  • Post and Telegraph Counter
  • ” STD/ISD/PCO counters
  • ” Money exchange counters
  • Child Care Facilities
  • Lost and Found Property Service
  • Air Insurance Counter
  • ATM facility
  • Public Convenience and Water Coolers
  • Tourist Office
  • Railway Counter
  • Hotels and Restaurants

Other Regulatory Agencies

Several regulatory agencies are also involved in the administration of airports.

There are:

  • Bureau of Civil Aviations BCAS-(Security)
  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation DGCA-(Safety)
  • Ancillary Service Providers
  • Ground Handling Agencies
  • Ground Transport Providers
  • Catering Agencies
  • Oil Depots
  • Casual workers

Regulatory Agencies in the Cargo Terminal

The Cargo Terminal is also headed by a General Manager in charge of Cargo.

The following regulatory bodies are involved in the safeguarding of airports

and aircraft:

The following regulatory agencies are located in the cargo terminal

  • Customs
  • Office of the Assistant Drug Controller
  • Office of the Deputy Director Wild Life
  • Apparel Export Promotion Council
  • Export Inspection Agency
  • Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairyoune
  • International Airlines
  • Embarkation Headquarters


  • Types of Airport Administration
  • Persons Involved in Administration of Airports
  • Wings under Airport Operations
  • Various Agencies at an Airport
  • Various Agencies at an International Airport
  • Other Regulatory Agencies
  • Regulatory Agencies in the Cargo Terminal