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Mutual Help List, "Ethics & The Administration of Public-Use Airports"
- To: "'help@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'" <help@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: CAA: Mutual Help List, Mutual Help List, "Ethics & The Administration of Public-Use Airports"
- From: "Ted Morris, Jr." <Airport@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 16:03:15 -0600
- Reply-To: help@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Sender: help-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Steve et al,
Having been around aviation for a long, long time, I find that most airport
and airplane folks are generally honest and actually think life should be
fair. But I've also seen that it rarely is, no matter how much integrity
the individuals involved have.
I don't think the size of the airport matters. Whether you give somebody a
"sweetheart deal" on tie-down rent or manage your terminal security just for
show at one of the top 40 airports, the reason you do it is probably because
of the pressure from the movers and shakers, the bean counters, the
industrial-park-managers-turned-airport-managers, and the politicians - not
because it provides better, or safer, services to your customers or your
How many of us dread the phone call we all know will come one day from one
of those folks that says, "I need you to do something for me..."? How many
of us are ready to fall on our swords and say "no"? When it means we loose
our job, and can't get a good reference for another position?
So we put off the necessary decision - 'it'll be o.k. to roll over for a
month. Maybe just six months...' We start thinking in terms of "how long
can I go before I have to say no?" rather than doing the right thing in the
first place. And before we know it, that month has turned into years, and
one day we realize it's too late to get out of the box.
I think the challenges in ethics we face on airports simply mirror the
challenges the whole country faces. "The system" knows its got us over the
barrel through our salary and benefits package, and by controlling through
them our ability to provide for ourselves and our families. And "they"
don't hesitate to use the leverage - like they used to say in SEA "when
you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow".
What it boils down to is that we are the only ones who care if we can look
at ourselves in the mirror each morning with pride. And I'm getting to be
an old man (well, o.k., a late-middle-aged man) who fears that in America
today, it's alright for integrity to have its price.
"I blame society" (from the movie Repo Man)
From: TCook [mailto:TCook@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: CAA: Mutual Help List, Mutual Help List, "Ethics & The
Administration of Public-Use Airports"
Is Ethics and Public-Use an oxy moron?
The administration of airports is not an autonomous function. The director
and staff of an airport could have strong ethical standards by which the
department is determined to function, only to have those ethical standards
undermined by strong political surrounding forces, such as the airport
owners governing administration.
At what point, (there really isn't any defining point) do you give up career
choices i.e., employment versus unemployment, promotion or salary
increases, to do what is best for the taxpayers, users and real people of
the community to which the airport really belongs, rather than support the
unethical decisions that the governing administration is directing staff to
"if you can't fight em, or if your losing the fight, do you join em, or do
you just move on?
The ethical dilemma is between what you do when no one will find out and
what you don't do because of personal consequences if everyone found out?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 7:31 AM
Subject: CAA: Mutual Help List, "Ethics & The Administration of Public-Use
> Given recent allegations of unethical and possibly illegal activity at
> several large U.S. airports I thought it might be interesting to start a
> thread on ethics in our industry. Are the allegations an alarming trend
> in our industry or simply a reflection of a broader problem in what
> seems an ethically challenged business culture in our society? What
> obligations do we have to the traveling public, local taxpayers and
> tenants? If something were technically legal (statutory issues) or
> compliant (regulatory issues) but POSSIBLY unethical or POTENTIALLY
> unsafe, what factors would we consider when reaching a decision? How
> fine do we split hairs in order to reach some desired outcome? In that
> mental cost benefit analysis we're all paid to perform numerous times
> every day, how much weight do we give to 'doing the right thing'
> regardless of the financial or personal consequences? Someone once
> defined character as how you behave when you know no one will ever find
> out? What is the current state of ethics in our industry?
> I look forward to the discussion.
> Warm regards,
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