Airport Manager – Masset Municipal Airport

Jun 2, 2016

Kal Manna

 We caught up with Kal Manna this month to learn about what he does in his busy job as Airport Manager of the Masset Municipal Airport. Kal is an outgoing individual who loves to meet new people and also loves aviation. Next time you fly into Masset make sure you stop in and say hi!

Some background on Kal

  • Kal graduated from the Airport Operations Diploma Program at BCIT in 2014
  • Masset Airport is the second airport Kal has managed since starting his career in the industry
  • Kal served on the BCIT’s Maximum Altitude Club as vice president while in school
  • Kal is one of the youngest airport managers in B.C.

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How did you get started in the aviation industry?

I got started in the aviation industry by chance. I had just graduated high school and was doing a lot of research on what I wanted to do for post secondary education. I came across BCIT’s Airport Operations Diploma Program and thought it was a good fit for me. Growing up it was always an exciting day when I got to visit the airport and see the many aircraft. Even though my choice of program came by chance I definitely feel at home in this industry.

Could you provide a little bit of background info as to your position? 

I am currently the Airport Manager for the Masset Airport on Haida Gwaii. I was previously the Airport Manager for the Lynn Lake Airport in Northern Manitoba. Being an Airport Manager involves many different duties and responsibilities. In short, my main responsibility is to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the airport while maintaining financial stability.  

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Emergency Exercise at Lynn Lake Airport, MB where Kal was previously the Airport Manager

What does a typical workday look like for you? 

For the most part I work a regular Monday to Friday work schedule. I am on call 24/7 for any airport emergencies. There truly is no typical day for me. Every day is a new day. I am constantly working on new projects and working to improve current processes at the airport.

 If you could try a different job in the aviation industry what would it be?

I’ve considered becoming an air traffic controller in the past. Being on the radio is something I really enjoy, but don’t get to do as often anymore.

What part of your job was the most surprising or unexpected when you started? 

The amount of responsibility involved with the job. People are often looking towards me for answers and decisions. It hasn’t always been easy, but leading the team at the airport has been such a big part of my growth.

What do you see as the biggest potential change in your career in the next 5-10 years? 

I hope to continue in the field of Airport Management. The last Airport I managed was a much smaller operation in comparison to the one I am now managing. I plan to continue this pattern and maybe one day I’ll find myself managing a large international airport.

Do you have any advice for students looking to get involved in the aviation industry?

My biggest piece of advice is to be willing to move across the country to jump start your career. Apply for all and any jobs that spark an interest, even if it feels like you might never get it. The only time that you can be 100% certain you won’t get a job is if you don’t apply for it.

What are three items you always carry with you at work? 

  • My work cellphone is with me everywhere I go.
  • My high visibility vest and radio are with me most of the time.
  • My schoolbooks are never too far from my desk; till this day I refer back to my BCIT resources if needed.

What have been some of your most successful moments at work? 

We recently completed our groundside improvement project which involved line painting in the parking lot as well the planting of various trees and shrubs. I also recently published our new Airside Vehicle Operators Permit (AVOP) program and took some necessary steps that significantly increased our non-aeronautical revenue stream.

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Operations at Masset Municipal Airport

What other types of jobs at airport/airline/business do you work most closely with? 

At the Masset Airport we have a number of business that we work quite closely with. Pacific Coastal serves our airport and community year round and there are a number of other airlines flying in and out during the tourist season. We also have a ground handling company based at the airport year round and commercial tenants that I work closely with.

Favorite airport?

I am so passionate about the airport I’m currently at and its community; I am so proud to be part of its growth.

Airbus or Boeing?

Boeing all the way! We even have Boeing 737’s flying into our airport during the tourist season.

 

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