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Airport Finance 101

(March 31, 2017 by Dafang Wu; PDF Version)

A few months ago, my wife bought a set of magnet interlocking gears for our toddler.  Every time I walk by the fridge, I can’t stop playing with it.  There are 7 or 8 those colorful magnet gears.  I can reposition them, switch a few around, and remove or add one, until the whole chain starts spinning.  I know someone else must be able to make it work on the first try.  I am just doing it by trial and error, and I am already enjoying it.

This must be the same thing happening to us when we started working on airport finance.  Since none of us graduated with a degree in airport finance, we have learned airport finance over a long period by observing others, trying out by our own, and learning from our mistakes.  Over time, we really like what we are doing, and start thinking of airport finance as a career instead of merely a job.  Then gradually we have figured out how airport finance works, and begin helping others that also accidentally fall into this industry, most likely from a finance or accounting background.

Training others about airport finance is still a tedious process.  Training design is a profession by its own, which most of us are not an expert.  To make training work, at least three things are needed: someone willing to train, someone willing to learn, and learning materials.  Unfortunately, we may not have all three present at the same time.

This airport finance 101 file is my attempt to provide a set of learning materials.  Every airport consulting firm has a good finance 101 presentation, but those presentations are limited by its form – a static PowerPoint.  This file is more like a portal, with links to many useful resources and in-depth articles I wrote on each key topic.  I enjoy writing articles.  Actually I enjoy talking to people much more.  However, there are probably less than 200 people in this whole country that enjoy talking about airport finance.  Writing an article is clearly a better choice than calling anyone of them at midnight.

Hope you enjoy it too.