A City Within a City
Apr 3, 2023
Katie Robinson, Marketing Specialist, FWA

At Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA), there are many people in several different work centers that come together each day to deliver excellent customer service to the airport as a whole, and directly to passengers and guests. One question that gets asked time and time again is, “How exactly does the airport operate?” and, “What does (or doesn’t) the staff at FWA do?”

FWA, as well as Smith Field Airport (SMD), operates under the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA). The Airport Authority also owns and operates Fort Wayne Aero Center, as well as Smith Field Aero Center at Smith Field Airport. The Airport Authority is governed by a six-member board of directors, appointed to four-year terms by both the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. 

The Airport Authority is also led by three directors covering all work centers – Executive Director of Airports, Director of Operations and Facilities, and Director of Administration and Finance. The team that falls under them makes up the airport’s “city within a city.” Here are the work centers that keep FWA and the Airport Authority flying to new altitudes!

Our maintenance department holds the airport together (literally). This team is in charge of everything from maintaining the airport campus grounds and snow removal, to maintaining building systems and operating heavy machinery. FWA’s maintenance staff flows under the maintenance manager, and includes positions such as airport maintenance workers, maintenance supervisors, building technicians, mechanics and an electrician.

Our operations team touches a number of areas of airport operations including airfield safety, terminal cleanliness and customer service. The operations department is an integral part of the airport that keeps everything, and everyone, moving. Operations team members include the operations manager, operations supervisor, operations specialists, customer experience, custodians and customer service agents.

You’ll find a lot of people wearing many different hats in our administrative offices, located inside of the FWA terminal building. This group has staff members touching different aspects of the Airport Authority’s day-to-day operations, including our administrative assistant, receptionist, controller, staff accountants, purchasing manager, IT manager, property development and marketing.

Our Public Safety Officers staff FWA’s own all-encompassing Public Safety Department. They are the airport’s first responders and operate all Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting equipment, maintain traffic and crowd control, perform fire rescues, tend to medical emergencies, respond to terminal building and airport campus disturbances, among many other duties.

Our Aero Center team delivers the highest level of customer service to the private and general aviation (GA) tenants and guests. The Fort Wayne Aero Center is an upscale Fixed Base Operator (FBO) where pilots can find fuel and top-level service from a team that includes the FBO manager, customer service representatives and line service technicians. Smith Field Aero Center at SMD falls under this umbrella as well, and the team in the heart of Fort Wayne offers services to those with GA aircraft.

While the Airport Authority team does a number of things to keep the airport and airport properties functioning, it is not in charge of anything regarding airline operations. FWACAA staff is also not in charge of TSA, rental car companies, the in-terminal restaurant or any airfield tenants – this includes operations and staffing. However, staff works closely with each of these tenants and entities to deliver the best customer experience possible.  

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