In late August, during the AMPAP ATS course in New Delhi, instructors Tonci Peovic and Paul Behnke were able to spend some time with Doug Webster, an IAP who earlier this year moved from Fort Lauderdale to New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, where he is Chief Operating officer.
We mentioned that we thought there would be considerable interest in Doug’s career move and he offered his perspective in the text below.
Many years ago, my wife and I contemplated the idea of doing an international work assignment. As it frequently does, however, life and family situations changed, and with it the thought of working overseas faded into the place where well-intentioned plans tend to linger unfulfilled. Our interest was rekindled, however, as a result of my participation in the Airport Executive Leadership Program (AELP) in 2010 and AMPAP in 2012. These programs opened my eyes to the fact that the world-wide airport business is full of opportunities, limited only by one’s willingness and desire to experience different cultures and potentially move out of his comfort zone.
Earlier this year, an opportunity presented itself for me to come to New Delhi in the role of Chief Operating Officer. The aviation industry in India is growing rapidly as the domestic airline industry and secondary markets have not only become viable, but are beginning to thrive. Delhi has become one of the top airports in the world, with industry leading facilities and outstanding customer focus as evidenced by its very high rankings in ACI’s ASQ. While the cultural change from South Florida to Northern India is significant in many ways, many of the issues at the airport are similar, and it has been an exciting experience for myself and my family to come to this vibrant nation. in retrospect, my experience and learning through AELP and AMPAP gave me the tools, knowledge, credibility and confidence to not only pursue such a position, but be able to contribute to the development of one of the fastest growing airports and aviation markets in the world. I encourage others to consider looking at the opportunities that exist in airports throughout the world. the IAP network can be leveraged to locate such opportunities and I was delighted to find a strong cadre of IAPs in key positions at GMR, the company which operates New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.