The National Academies

ACRP 06-07 [Active]

Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz
Research Agency: Ohio State University
Principal Investigator: Seth Young
Effective Date: 6/1/2019
Completion Date: 10/31/2020


Airports and their support industries have changed significantly over the past several decades. Academic programs must continue to evolve with these changes to better prepare the next generation of airport industry professionals. Emphasis should be placed on an enhanced, comprehensive approach to careers in the airport industry to include topic areas such as finance and administration, planning and engineering, operations and facilities, technology, law, humanities and social sciences, etc.

As a means to prepare students for career tracks in the airport industry, research is needed to better understand the skills needed and develop model academic curriculum templates to provide a foundation for career success. This research seeks to bridge the gaps that may exist.


The objective of this research is to develop guidance to assist academia in preparing graduates for careers as airport industry professionals. The guidance should identify and consider the current and future skills needed for airport industry professionals and how current and future educational programs align with those skills.

The guidance should consider the various roles of the airport industry professional at a variety of types and sizes of airports and contain at a minimum:
  • A description of current and future core competencies needed for various level of positions and roles;
  • A list of gaps in existing aviation educational programs and an overview of other non-aviation-specific educational programs as they relate to current and future workforce needs;
  • Program structure and content that would foster an individual to be adaptive with an eye toward future trends and life-long learning;
  • Methods for highlighting the broad range of career opportunities and how to engage students for careers in the airport industry; and
  • The role and impact of academic accreditation on various airport-related aviation programs.
STATUS: Ohio State University is conducting the research 

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