Survey Finds Average Airport Pay Up 2%

The 2012 ACI-NA Compensation and Benefits Benchmarking Survey is now complete.  The results of the fifth annual edition of the project were released to participating airport authorities in February 2013.

The survey continues to succeed and grow, with a record 97 airports contributing data this year (including, for the first time, eight Canadian airports).  The ambitious undertaking collected voluminous compensation information on more than 8,000 employees in 94 airport-specific jobs.

Detailed reports are available only to participating airport authorities.  However, we can provide some general highlights.  Overall average pay was reported at about 2% higher in 2012 than the previous year.  Chief Executive Officer average total cash compensation (base salary plus bonuses) led the way at $168,518 for Small Airports, $227,332 for Medium Airports, and $250,594 for Large Airports.  Human Resources Directors were reported at $97,340/$123,377/$145,224 on the Small/Medium/Large scale, with Airport Operations Managers coming in at $79,874/$92,206/$121,433.

The survey is conducted in scrupulous adherence to the Salary Survey Safe Harbor Guidelines issued jointly by the United States Department of Justice and the Fair Trade Commission, and represents the state of the art of methodology of collecting and reporting pay data.  Airport authorities sharing compensation information through channels outside of the ACI-NA Compensation Survey are in danger of violation of U.S. Anti-Trust Law.

Among the key factors ensuring the survey’s proper and legal status is that the data is not collected by ACI-NA itself, nor by any member, but instead by a recognized independent third-party compensation survey firm, Western Management Group (WMG), headquartered in California.

Planning and preparation for the 2013 edition of the survey are already underway, with survey materials scheduled to be distributed to potential participants in August.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the survey is invited to visit the survey website here (, and/or directly contact the Survey Manager at WMG, Toni McGrath (, 408.399.4900 ext. 229).