ACRP Research Report 230: Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals provides guidance to assist academia in preparing graduates for careers as airport industry professionals. The guidance identifies and evaluates the current and future skills needed for airport industry professionals and how educational programs align with those skills. As a means to prepare students for career tracks in the airport industry, this research provides a better understanding of the skills needed and develops model academic curriculum templates to provide a foundation for career success, bridging the gaps that may exist.
Airports and their support industries have changed significantly over the past several decades. It is imperative that academic programs continue to evolve with these changes to better prepare the next generation of airport industry professionals. Emphasis is 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.
ACRP Project 06-07 was led by The Ohio State University in association with Quadrex Aviation, ICF, Inc., Pavlik & Associates, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and DPrather and Associates. They reviewed the current and future workforce needs of the airport industry, provided many current academic curriculum outlines and identified the gaps and challenges that exist between what academic programs offer and what the airport industry needs to keep up with the demands of an exceptional workforce. Their work was conducted through surveys and focus groups from over 100 airport industry professionals including academic faculty, students and alumni currently employed in the airport sector.