Eric Silverman, airport operations manager at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), recalls that he’s always been fascinated with flight. “I would stop doing everything and stare into the sky when an airplane went by; I still do,” he says.
Silverman started his aviation career at Philadelphia International Airport as an intern in its Operations unit in 1997. After graduating from Ohio State University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in aviation management, Silverman was employed full time as an airport administrative trainee and has been promoted through the ranks to airport operations manager. His initiative and commitment have had a profound impact on operational strategy and planning at PHL.
On his own initiative, Silverman began compiling an in-house operational weather forecast, provided daily to airport management, to keep management personnel informed of weather events that may impact the airport along with surrounding airports. This is done even during non-business hours. Recognizing a need for close coordination and effective communication, Silverman initiated conference calls with the FAA, Air Traffic Control, tenant airlines, and operations staff during snow storms, thunderstorms, and other events that impact airline operations. In the 10 years since, participation has grown to include airline operations centers, the FAA Command Center, and all airport tenants.
Recognizing the need for the best possible information during adverse conditions, Silverman also spearheaded the effort to gain access to the FAA’s Command Center IntraNet and Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS), an effort he considers to be his proudest achievement to date. These systems help PHL manage airfield operations during irregular operations, and effectively plan for aircraft diverted to Philadelphia and arrange recovery of those diverted away. Additionally, Silverman has worked closely with an FAA-approved vendor for PHL to be a test site for ADSB ground radar tracking systems. Combined, these systems allow the Airport Operations unit to have a full and complete picture of all airfield activities.
“Over the course of his career, Eric’s initiative and commitment has had a profound impact on operational strategy and planning at PHL and has overflowed into other parts of the City of Philadelphia.”
Keith Brune, deputy director, Aviation Operations & Facilities, Philadelphia International Airport