CLEVELAND — Using a set of binoculars, Zachary Randall keeps a close eye on the airfield.

“I am monitoring ground operations and checking that everyone is adhering to our safety regulations, the rules associated with it and verifying that operations are running smooth,” Randall said.

He’s one of the newest employees at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. He manages operations at an airport that’s undergoing a $2 billion expansion over a 20-year period. 

What You Need To Know

  • National Aviation Day is Aug. 19
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is one of Ohio's busiest airports

  • The airport is expanding under a $2 billion, 20-year revised master plan

“Cleveland is also at the forefront of new technologies. It's at the forefront of safety, and its always striving to be state of the art,” Randall said. “And it's wonderful that ... I have a chance to not only be a part of that, but also influence the direction in which it's headed.”

Daily operations and safety are some of his new responsibilities.

Zachary Randall. (Jade Nash/Spectrum News 1)

“I am the person responsible for managing emergency responses, snow and ice control, ensuring that every passenger that comes through Cleveland is receiving not only the best customer service, but the most safe environment we can offer them,” Randall said.

One of the environments that is important to keep safe is the runway.

“One thing that we're always trying to do is improve our runways, make sure that they're as safe as possible. So what we're doing is a large construction project right now to make sure that we are providing the safest runway environment for landing aircraft that we can give them,” Randall said.

Hundreds of planes land at the airport each day. Some are delayed.

“Most delays come from the airlines,” Randall explained. "They're the ones who are making the calls on cancelations and are in the, (a) lot of times, experiencing mechanical issues of aircraft that may be causing such delays to take place.” 

Randall added they’re using new technologies to monitor these trends.

“We're in process of using some of the state-of-the-art software to create a new program that is going to examine delays, understand the trends and what is causing them, and then help us to mitigate that, where we can reduce delays across the airport and also address with airlines some of the issues that are causing delays on their end,” Randall said.

Randall said his ultimate goal is to make using the airport a better experience for travelers, without compromising on safety

“We go out of our way and above and beyond to make sure that we are achieving every milestone and every positive marker we can to ensure that every person that comes here has the safest experience of any airport in the U.S.,” Randall said.