In honor of Women in Aviation Worldwide Week, Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. introduced two women who are changing the face of operations at Washington Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.
Kristen Long, C.M., A.C.E., airport operations duty manager, and Janene Shaw, acting deputy of airport operations duty manager, both developed a passion for aviation at a young age. Kristen spent hours floating in her parents’ pool watching the planes above her line up for final approach, while Janene’s older sister was in the Air Force and encouraged her to learn how to fly.
Their love of aviation, adventure and connecting people all over the world far outweigh the challenges of working in this typically male-dominated industry. From airfield inspections to an aircraft alert or to a security incident, they agree that women are an untapped resource and bring a different viewpoint to dealing with the many facets of operations.
Ms. Long says, “Growing up on a farm with my two sisters, my dad relied on us greatly to help out. We were never allowed to say that we couldn’t do something because we are girls. It taught me a great work ethic and that there is nothing I cannot do because I am a girl.”
Ms. Long has been the Airport Operations Duty Manager for Washington Dulles International Airport since 2016, bringing to the role a mindset of perseverance and proof that women are an untapped resource in the many facets of airport operations.
As the Airport Operations Duty Manager for an international airport in the National Capital Region, she oversees airfield inspections, aircraft alerts, and security incidents, though her greatest satisfaction is locating and resolving discrepancies on the airfield to improve safety for the travelling public.
Her career successes span more than a decade and include aviation emergency preparedness, practical flight experience and peer recognition. Her achievements include receiving the first approval to fly a drone during the IAD Part 139 Triennial Exercise in May 2018; planning the airport emergency tabletops and triennial exercises; and earning her Certified Member and Airport Certified Employee designations through American Association of Airport Executives. Further, she holds a private pilot’s license and the new remote pilot’s license.
She began her career in aviation at Rocky Mountain Metro Airport where she was trained as an Aircraft Rescue Firefighter, followed by Denver International Airport as an Airport Ops Specialist/Ramp Tower Controller. She has also served as an Airport Operations Supervisor for Charlotte Douglas International Airport and as a Communications and Security Specialist for Portland International Jetport.
Ms. Long received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Kent State University.
Ms. Shaw’s advice for other women in the aviation industry is to “continue to engage in the different aspects of aviation; there’s more to it than just working at an airline and understanding the industry as a whole has great benefits.” She began her career with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority more than 20 years ago and has held various positions, including Safety and Security Specialist, Duty Manager and Supervisory Duty Manager.
During her time at Dulles, she has been responsible for orchestrating the airport’s compliance with Code of Federal Regulations Part 139, which is necessary to obtain an Airport Operating Certificate from the FAA. In addition, she has been responsible for coordinating capital improvement projects, including the $174.2 million main terminal expansion, building of the AeroTrain, and building of the Airport Traffic Control Tower. In her current role, she interacts with day-to-day airport operations ensuring everything is functioning efficiently and effectively.
Her biggest accomplishments are helping the airport grow, both in development of land and facilities as well as passengers, improving the systems and introducing new technology.
Previously, she worked for Virgin Atlantic at Newark International Liberty Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Dulles.
Janene was introduced to aviation by her sister who was in the U.S. Air Force, and pays it forward by encouraging other women to explore careers in the industry. She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in aviation management.