Job Code Pay Scale Group Pay Scale Type Bargaining Unit Civil Service or Non-Civil Service Last Executive Board Change Executive Board Change History
71760 08 ST G2 C 999-99 07/01/2023
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JOB CODE: 71760

SERIES NATURE OF WORK: The Aviation Specialist job series describes work in the inspection and provision of technical assistance to airports, aviation industry professionals, and the public regarding the planning and development of airport facilities, compliance with aviation regulations, and investigation and response to violations and complaints.

DEFINITION: This is supervisory and specialized work inspecting and licensing airports/heliports operating in the Commonwealth and in the provision of technical guidance to airport/heliport managers, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), municipal officials, and engineering firms for the Department of Transportation.

An employee in this job supervises Aviation Specialists engaged in the inspection of airports and heliports for conformance with safety standards and legal compliance with state and federal regulations; and providing technical guidance to airport managers on the standards and regulations. Work includes approving new airport/heliport development proposals and verifying that layout, approaches, takeoff angles, relation of obstruction to takeoff, approach patterns, prevailing air currents, and terrain features are suitable for airport/heliport construction; supervising the gathering, analyzing, and dissemination of information pertaining to sound aviation practices to assure compliance with aviation safety standards; formulating corrective measures to non-conforming conditions, airport hazards, and/or dangerous aviation practices; and providing consultative support and technical guidance to assist airport managers in planning and developing airport improvements and construction projects. Work involves participating in the review and evaluation of grant applications as part of a grant review board and making recommendations for approval and prioritization; reviewing and evaluating notices of proposed construction to determine impact upon protected navigable airspace and for consistency with land use compatibility guidelines; assessing topographical, atmospheric, and structural conditions which may contribute to law violations or hazardous conditions; and coordinating with the FAA in the review and development of instrument approach procedures and the collection and submission of airport data. Employees will have public contact to include participating in public hearings, investigating complaints, and promoting aviation. Work is reviewed by the Flight Services and Safety Manager for attainment of program objectives and effectiveness.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: (NOTE: The examples of work are representative of the work, but every position classified to this job may not perform all examples of work listed. Conversely, this is not an all-inclusive list of work examples.):

• Plans and directs the statewide aviation program for the licensing and inspection of commonwealth airports and heliports to ensure facilities meet safety standards for the issuance or renewal of operating licenses.

• Supervises inspection of new development proposals of general aviation or private use airports/heliports for conformance to safety standards to ensure suitability for airport/heliport construction.

• Approves new airports/heliports. site development proposals.

• Reviews newly completed, operating, or renovated airports/heliports for adherence to site and operational requirements.

• Supervises annual inspections of public-use airports/heliports and facilities.

• Reviews recommendations for withdrawal of airport licenses.

• Provides guidance to airport managers on aviation safety practices, operational safety, maintenance, and management problems.

• Serves as the senior PennDOT Aviation Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

• Supervises a licensing coordinator responsible for administering the Commonwealth’s Airport Licensing Program of over 800 public-use and private-use airports and heliports statewide.

• Reviews and evaluates Aviation Development Grant and State Block Grant applications and makes recommendations for approval.

• Reviews reports of site investigation for proposed construction of general and private use airports/heliports.

• Reviews reports and recommendations resulting from annual or periodic inspection of airport/heliport facilities to recommend airport/heliport renovations or improvement to meet aviation safety and operational standards.

• Assists airports and municipalities in the formulation of Airport Hazard Zoning.

• Supervises the implementation of educational programs and projects for the promotion of aviation.

• Presides as the hearing officer at public hearings with local municipalities to obtain public comment concerning proposed airport development and changes in accordance with aviation law.

• Performs the full range of supervisory duties.

• An employee in this job may participate in the performance of subordinates’ work consistent with operational or organizational requirements.

• Performs related work as required.


• Knowledge of aviation safety laws, rules, and regulations.

• Knowledge of regulations governing aircraft safety or airport/heliport operations.

• Knowledge of the principles and practices of aviation safety.

• Knowledge of the design, construction, and operation of aircraft.

• Knowledge of zoning regulations.

• Ability to gather, compile, analyze, and interpret inspection and investigation data.

• Ability to read and interpret engineering and planning documents including drawings, specifications, contracts, design standards, maps, and survey notes.

• Ability to operate technology advanced equipment (digital transits, GPS receivers, and laser measuring devices).

• Ability to speak effectively before large groups.

• Ability to read and follow oral and written instructions.

• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.

• Ability to communicate effectively orally.

• Ability to communicate effectively in writing.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: (NOTE: Based on the Entry Level Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities):

• One year of experience as an Aviation Specialist;


• Possession of an active Accredited Airport Executive certification issued by the American Association of Airport Executives, and one year of experience in Airport Management;


• Five years of experience as a commercial pilot or flight instructor;


• An equivalent combination of experience and training.