Learning the ropes from a seasoned pro

In 2001 a fellow by the name of Sam Hoerter published the second edition of “The Airport Management Primer.” This document is chock full of interesting observations and unique insights. It is an absolute goldmine of information that is pertinent to the management and operation of airports large and small. For an intellectual assault on a technical subject, it is a remarkably easy read that borders on being truly entertaining.

Clocking in at 84 pages, the remarkably conversational tone of this publication belies its real value in the marketplace. The Airport Management Primer is a “must read” for anyone who feels they are even casually drawn to the idea of managing, marketing, or operating an airport.

Hoerter knows of what he writes. The retired director of the Charleston County Aviation Authority spent two decades overseeing the management and operation of Charleston County’s three airports, which showed a marked improvement over the period of time he was at the top of that particular pyramid.

You can find a copy of Hoerter’s publication, free of charge, on the Internet. The book is available as a PDF, which downloads quickly due to its lack of complex graphics. This is a book filled with words, ideas, explanations, and rock-solid information. There are no pretty pictures hidden inside this beautifully written compendium of airport management.

Grab your own copy at: http://www.secaaae.org/PRIMER.pdf

You’ll be glad you did.

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport. You can reach him at Jamie@GeneralAviationNews.com.


  1. says

    Aviation has certainly changed since 2001, Jason. There is no doubt about that. But just as flight instructors continue to teach stalls, steep turns, and crosswind landing techniques, Mr. Hoerter’s primer has real value, even if it is 9 years old.

    The section on terminology is a true gift to administrator’s with no aviation background, and the discussion of airport ownership and management structures is without doubt a valuable reference. Even the admittedly generalized presentation of expenses and revenue profiles includes a wealth of information that could be put to good use, in any economic or political climate.

    While aviation has changed, management responsibilities have stayed more or less the same over the past decade. I truly believe there is great value in the short book Mr Hoerter has given us.

    Of course if there is a specific passage or section that is out of date and no longer valid – that specific constructive critique would be of great value too.

  2. Jason Behm says

    I appreciate the comments, but basically a book published in 2001 in regards to airport management might as well have been published in 1950. The airport industry has changed significantly in the last 9 years after 911. This book has some good insight, but if a person interested in running an airport plans to use this book as a guide they are in for a rude awakening.

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