How financially rewarding can a job at the aviation industry (excluding airline pilot) be?

The jobs of Air Traffic Controllers and Airport Managers are financially rewarding.

The job itself may be extremely challenging, such as the job an Air Traffic Controller (ATC). It may be far more stressful and demanding than an Airline pilot’s job. A research paper published by university of Verona explains that. No wonder that Air Traffic Controllers all over the world make as much money as the airline pilots on the average.

Airport Managers’ job though not as stressful as an Air Traffic Controller’s is, but it can be as much financially rewarding an ATC. I say this because I have experience of both.

Air Navigation Services Providers and Airport Services Providers are usually financially stable organizations in comparison to Airlines and therefore these are in a good position to reward their employees handsomely. The reason for their financial stability is two folds:

  • Airports and ‘Air Navigation Services’ are natural monopolies;
  • Both services are absolutely necessary for safe and secure operations of airlines and passengers, who pay for the cost of operations of these two services, including cost of labour.

The fees and charges are not raised arbitrarily though by the service providers, exploiting their monopolist position. The point of comfort for the airlines and passengers is that the profit limits of Air Navigation Service Providers and Airport Service Providers are capped by the Economic Oversight Department of the State in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines (Doc 9082). The formula usually applied by the regulators is WAAC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital). I have experience of this one too.