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S E C T I O N I Introduction and Motivation The guidebook is based on a yearâs worth of research into the current and future workforce needs of the airport industry; present-day offerings of a spectrum of academic institutions; gaps and challenges that exist between what academic programs offer and what the industry needs to keep up with workforce demands; and best practices existing in academia today. The study involved extensive review of current aviation and academic literature; examination of academic program curricula at universities and colleges nationwide; and the conduct of surveys and focus groups in which more than 100 airport industry professionals, academic faculty, students, and alumni now in the airport sector participated. Challenges that the airport industry faces in hiring entry-level and mid-career professionals are addressed. The guidance provided in this guidebook includes detailed recommendations for ensuring that industry needs are met now and in the future.
3 The challenge of airports in the United States to recruit professionals with the skills, edu- cation, and experience necessary is significant. The current airport environment has evolved rapidly since the beginning of the 21st century. Airport business models and practices continue to move from traditional public agency operations to highly complex business administrations much like the corporate world, often creating partnerships between the public and private sectors. Airports have become savvy in evolving financial practices because they must be profit- driven to operate without a significant tax base. The federal regulatory environment continues to generate rules and practices governing the safety and security of airport operations. Information technology has opened up the ability for airports to enhance the entirety of their operations, from planning and engineering to social media and marketing. An existing general perception is that the nationâs institutions of higher education are lagging in the quantity and quality of aviation-related and airport-specific academic programming. Of the more than 6,000 colleges and universities in the United States, approximately 160 offer degree programs in aviation, and a small subset of those have courses that focus on airports. Although several of these have been formally recognized for their quality through aviation academic program accreditations, such programming is not accredited for curricula specifically addressing airport needs. New courses relevant to todayâs industry are needed. Experiential learningâthrough project work, internships, and cooperatives (co-ops)ârequires expansion, and learning methods need to be adapted. A disconnect between the needs of the industry and academic programs is possibly related to a general lack of industry collaboration. Although the industry may often look to aviation programs from which to recruit educated and trained professionals, many more non-aviation programs are educating future professionals in key topics of relevance to airports. However, too often their courses do not apply specifically to the airport environment. Thus, the industry is required to further train these graduates once they enter the workforce. A Guidebook for Academia and Industry Two primary audiences will benefit from the guidebook: (1) academic institutions wishing to enhance their airport-oriented academic pro- gramming, and (2) airport industry professionals desiring to work with academic institutions in pursuit of their own airport-oriented academic programming goals. Both academia and industry must play significant roles in this effort. The guidance provided herein applies to academic institutions of any type, from community colleges to research-focused universities, from C H A P T E R 1 Introduction Academia Airport Industry
4 Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals programs that currently offer degree programs specifically in airports to others with no avia- tion course content whatsoever. Any academic institution has the potential to contribute to the airport industry through even minor enhancements to its curricula. The guidebook is also a resource for any airport industry professional, from the airport manager/CEO to the entry-level professional. Guidebook Contents and Format The guidebook is divided into four sections, within which are six chapters and a compila- tion of reference materials. Icons for academia (a graduation cap) and for airport industry (an airplane) appear throughout the guidebook to identify guidance relevant to these audi- ences. Two chapters are written explicitly for academia in which case the academia icon is emphasized, and two for industry in which case the airport industry icon is emphasized. Other chapters are written for both audiences in which case both icons are emphasized. With that in mind, familiarity with all sections on the part of both audiences is recommended. Of great benefit, for example, would be if academic institutions better understood the needs of the airport workforce, and how these institutions may ensure these needs are addressed. Con- versely, it would be helpful for industry to better understand how academic programs are developed and administered, so they are better prepared to contribute to the processes and are aware of the unique policies and practices within the academic environment. The following outlines the guidebookâs content. Section I Introduction and Motivation Section I applies to all audiences. It introduces the guidebook, provides background on the guidebookâs development, and motivates the reader to pursue opportunities and strategies to enhance academic programming. Chapter 1: Introduction. This chapter provides introductory, welcoming, and motivating commentary about how academia can meet the workforce needs of the airport industry. Chapter 2: Motivation: Addressing the Needs of the Airport Workforce. This chapter describes the needs of the airport industry workforce. These needs include not only the need for future professionals to have a strong knowledge base of traditional airport-industry sub- ject matter but also to have the ability to apply general academic topics to the industry. This chapter also describes the need for students to gain practical experience within their academic programs, and how professional and personal effectiveness skills are needed by future airport professionals. Section II Guidance to Academia Section II provides a comprehensive understanding of the current state of airport academic offerings and broad guidance on how to enhance academic programming, ranging from institutions that offer no airport content to those that have degree programs in airport management. Chapter 3: The State of Airport Education in Academia. This chapter provides a comprehen- sive understanding of the wide variety of airport-oriented educational programming that exists within academia, ranging from traditional aviation programs to non-aviation programs, such as business and engineering programs that offer some airport content. This chapter describes how airport content fits into various degree programs, how extracurricular and experiential learning
Introduction 5 contributes to educational strategies, how these programs are meeting the needs of the industry, and how these programs may be enhanced. Chapter 4: Enhancing Academic Programming. This chapter provides guidance to academia by introducing a set of strategic building blocks, curriculum structures, course offerings, and experiential learning opportunities to position curricula to better meet the needs of the industry. This includes the following: â¢ Expanding the depth of programming by adding courses in specialized topics and increasing the depth of existing courses. â¢ Expanding the breadth of programming by adding airport content to non-airport and non- aviation courses within a course of study. â¢ Developing and expanding experiential learning programs, such as internships and extra- curricular activities. Section III Guidance to Industry Given that industry involvement by collaborating and partnering with academia is crucial to enhancing academic programs to meet industry needs, this section describes opportunities for accomplishing this. Chapter 5: How Academia Works for Non-Academics. This chapter concisely describes the process for designing, creating, maintaining, delivering, and enhancing academic programming so that the industry better understands and appreciates the process. Chapter 6: Opportunities to Participate in the Academic Process. Industry representatives can directly participate in academic programming by contributing content, participating as instruc- tors, hosting site visits, supervising course projects, and participating in program advisory boards. Section IV Reference Materials This section contains a comprehensive set of materials that academia is encouraged to apply to enhance their aviation-related programs. â¢ An annotated bibliography of existing literature, including research reports, academic publications, and trade journals, covering the ongoing topics of importance to the airport workforce. â¢ A portfolio of template course syllabi covering key airport topics. These templates include topic descriptions, outlines of subtopics, descriptions of possible course assignments, and available external materials, such as applicable research reports. â¢ Guides and templates for developing internships with various industry partners, including a variety of departments within airports as well as with airport service industry profes- sional firms. â¢ A collection of airport-specific topic summaries and activities that may be added to courses that are not necessarily airport or aviation specific. These materials are provided in a generic format, allowing modifications to meet the needs of specific programs. Topic Identifying Icons The guidebook is designed for use within all types of academic programs to enhance airport- related content, from those that already have airport major degree programs to programs that do not cover any airport-related material. Subject matter icons within the guidebook identify relevant
6 Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals guidance for each academic topic of interest, including business and finance, engineering and planning, and operations. The guidebook identifies strategies applicable to participating in the enhancement of academic programming for those in industry, ranging from upper management at an airport looking to enhance its workforce from a strategic perspective, to entry-level and junior management pro- fessionals who wish to share their new industry experience with their potential future colleagues, to those in airport professional service firms, such as engineering, planning, or management consulting. The application of all, some, or simply one of the elements included herein is important for both academic institutions and airport industry professionals to contribute to the educational development of the airport industry workforce. ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT ICONS Business/Finance Engineering/Planning Operations Interacting with Industry
7 C H A P T E R 2 The airport environment is constantly evolving in response to the global demands associated with business and personal air travel. Given the ever-changing landscape, airports must react to advancements in technology, evolving passenger-experience preferences, and changing business models. At the same time, airport industry leaders are concerned about the lack of talent avail- able in the labor market, at a time when more than half of airport executive staff are estimated to be retirement eligible, and the labor pool of workers available to fill these roles is shrinking. Motivation: Addressing the Needs of the Airport Workforce Key Takeaways â¢ A gap exists between what is taught in academic programs and the technical skills and knowledge required for new airport professionals entering the workforce. Academic programs provide students with a basic background in a variety of essential topic areas but have limited coverage of specific topic areas. â¢ There is a crucial need for students to be exposed to fields of study that fall outside traditional aviation management programs, including finance, business acumen, project management, property management, and engineering. Students should also be provided opportunities to gain skills relevant to mission-critical occupations (MCO) identified in ACRP Web-Only Document 28: Identifying and Evaluating Airport Workforce Requirements (Cronin et al. 2016). â¢ Academic programs and airports should work with each other to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. Increased connectivity between airports and academia helps increase the availability of internships and encourages the involvement of airport managers in the classroom. â¢ Recent graduates often overestimate their ability to apply their education to the world outside of the classroom. Furthermore, recent graduates may lack personal effectiveness skills, such as communication and interpersonal skills, business acumen, and public speaking. â¢ Airports have difficulty finding and hiring skilled applicants for their available positions, in part due to a large demand for a limited number of aviation degree program graduates. As a result, airports may hire graduates who lack an aviation degree but have an interest in aviation. â¢ Many of the skills and topic areas that airports indicate are challenging to hire for are frequently not covered in studentsâ programs, or at least not in a standalone airport-related course (see Table 2.1).
8 Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals Other trends that have implications for the airport workforce include the rapid emergence of new technologies, increased financial and commercial pressures, political sensitivities, new regu- latory requirements, challenges recruiting in local job markets, and a growing shortage of skilled trade workers (ICF 2018). Now and into the future, airports must be leaner and more creative in terms of establishing new revenue streams and managing their resources, while continuing timely and safe operations. For example, as of the writing of this guidebook, the COVID-19 global pandemic was sending shock waves throughout the air transportation industry, swinging the pendulum wildly from an airport environment focused on infrastructure expansion due to record high demand to a world with vastly reduced global travel, air carriers facing tens of thousands of job reductions, and airports struggling to maintain revenues. To survive and be ready for the next economic recovery, airports must remain in a proactive, adaptive mode that is best served by maintaining talent pools that possess diversified skill sets. Specifically, as airports consolidate resources, airport workers will need to perform a variety of different and cross-functional roles within the airportâs operations structure. Similarly, students coming from aviation programs will need a broader spectrum of airport-related expertise to âhit the ground runningâ and function quickly within the varying job roles that employees will likely occupy. This, in turn, suggests that academia should grow well-rounded students with a broader understanding of the airport ecosystem. Given the limited size and number of academic programs offering airport-oriented curricula, current training and education options for any given airport-relevant subject tend to be limited. Content for stu- dents may also be more focused on the past needs of the industry, rather than what is needed to prepare the future workforce to succeed in the rapidly changing airport environment. Furthermore, existing training and educational content lack sufficient coverage of many of the core competencies required for MCO jobs integral to the continued func- tioning and growth of airports. The first step to ensure airports are adequately prepared to face current and future challenges starts with understanding what is needed of individuals entering the airport workforce, both now and into the future (Byers 2016). Academic programs can then be tailored, and new programs developed, to meet industry needs by providing a pipeline of graduates with the appropriate knowledge and skill sets to excel within the airport industry. In preparation for the writing of this guidebook, the research team thoroughly examined the existing literature on the workforce needs of the industry; parsed through a spectrum of airport position announce- ments and descriptions, and conducted focus groups and surveys in which more than 200 airport industry professionals participated. From this research, the team identified four key areas that encompass many of the needs and challenges of entry-level airport workforce professionals. The four areas describe the need to 1. Better prepare graduates for careers in the airport industry; 2. Strengthen collaboration between the airport industry and academia; 3. Ensure recent graduates have appropriate and readily applicable skills for the work - place; and 4. Address existing challenges in hiring recent graduates. A comprehensive overview of these topic areas is included in this guidebook. In ACRP Web-Only Document 28, Cronin et al. identified eight MCOs for the next 5 to 10 years: â¢ Airport Development â¢ Airport Operations â¢ Airport Security â¢ Electrician â¢ Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical) â¢ Financial Analysis and Planning â¢ Information Technology (IT), and â¢ Project Planning For each MCO occupation, more than 60% of survey respondents (746 airport leaders) reported that additional education and development opportu- nities are needed to adequately equip the workforce for these specific responsibilities.
Motivation: Addressing the Needs of the Airport Workforce 9 Creating More and Broader Opportunities for Recent Graduates Limited Entry-Level Opportunities for Recent Graduates The airport industry provides promising career opportunities; however, there are currently a limited number of avenues by which recent graduates can enter these fields. A review of job postings from general Internet sources (such as indeed.com as well as the American Association of Airport Executives Career Center website) found that the most frequently posted jobs targeted at recent graduates are for entry-level airport operations positions (specialists and coor- dinators). The majority of other available jobs required several years of experience in the field. Depth of Program Subject Areas The tendency for most entry-level airport jobs to be in airport operations may be attributed to the typical skills and abilities of recent graduates from aviation and airport management programs. Over the years, these requirements have changed, becoming more diverse, challenging, and technical (Quilty 2005). This has resulted in a gap between what is taught in academic programs and the unique technical skills and knowledge required for new airport professionals entering the workforce. Most academic programs provide students with a basic background in a variety of different topic areas that are essential for a career in aviation, such as airport management and airport operations, but they are not specific to any particular topic areas nor do they focus on spe- cific trades. Academic programs have many general education requirements that preclude students from taking a significant number of courses tailored to specific content areas. Additionally, many aviation management programs are small in size and, therefore, do not have enough students to offer these types of courses. As a result, recent graduates often lack an understanding of many of the finer details and technical skills required for a successful airport career. Research indicates that new graduates are not learning or acquiring all of the unique skills required to thrive in the aviation sector. For example, the entry-level airport workforce often lacks airport-specific knowledge or experience, including knowledge of standard operating procedures and aviation regulations (Young 2010). Although students graduate with a general understanding of the industry, significant on- the-job learning is often required post-graduation to gain proficiency in their work responsibilities. Incorporation of Outside Fields of Study In addition to the need for programs to dive deeper into airport-specific topic areas, such as landside operations, safety, and trades (e.g., electrical skills); there is a critical need for students to be exposed to fields of study that fall outside traditional aviation management programs. These other fields, essential to planning and operating an airport, include the following: â¢ Finance (e.g., budgeting and accounting), â¢ Business acumen, â¢ Project management, â¢ Property management (e.g., real estate development, contracts), and â¢ Engineering [e.g., AutoCAD, Geographic Information System (GIS)]. Studentsâ depths of knowledge should also be expanded to equip them with the appropriate skills to fill the eight MCO jobs/professions identified in ACRP Web-Only Document 28 (Cronin et al. 2016). These occupations include the following: â¢ Airport Development: Involves the design and development of airport property and facilities as well as real estate transactions. Example job titles include Air Terminal Devel- opment Manager and Aviation Real Estate Manager. Coursework that is currently developed at universities is not detailed enough in any area for a new employee to be able to hit the ground running practically. â Manager, Airport Operations and Facilities
10 Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals â¢ Airport Operations: Ensures everything is in place on airfield and airside environments for safe and efficient flight operation. Example job titles include Airfield Operations Specialist and Ground Services Manager. â¢ Airport Security: Ensures airport facilities, employees, and passengers are protected from potential threats. Example job titles include Airport Security Inspector and Transportation Inspector. â¢ Electrician: Is responsible for installation, maintenance, inspection, and repair of airport electrical systems, including power distribution, security, and communication. Example job titles include Electrical Technician and Airport Electrician. â¢ Engineering (Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical): Involves all aspects of airport planning, including design, construction, and inspection. Example job titles include Senior Engineer and Civil Engineer. â¢ Financial Analysis and Planning: Is responsible for financial and economic business planning, development, and management. Example job titles include Assistant Finance Manager and Airport Economic Planner. â¢ Information Technology (IT): Includes the design, installation, and management of security mechanisms to protect airport security networks and systems from cybersecurity threats and attacks. Example job titles include Network Administrator and IT Services Specialist. â¢ Project Planning: Involves all aspects of airport planning, including creating airport plans, devel- oping master plans, and understanding future needs of the airport itself and its customers to ensure these needs can be met. Example job titles include Project Planner and Airport Planner. Optimally, academic courses can be airport-focused or, at least, airport-specific use cases can be incorporated to help students gain the skills that are essential for conducting business in the unique airport ecosystem. Strengthening Collaboration Between the Airport Industry and Academia Many airport professionals who participated in focus groups for this study expressed the need for increased outreach and collaboration between the airport industry and academia. While some airports have formal partnerships or informal connections with local colleges and universities, others are still working to increase engagement and foster these connections. One key objective of this guidebook is to encourage the development of new relationships between academic programs and airports and to strengthen existing relationships. These partnerships not only benefit airports and academia but also students in aviation and airport management programs through the opportunity to increase the availability of internships and to grow the involvement of airport management in the classroom. Importance of Internships To succeed in the airport industry, new professionals not only need theoretical knowledge, which they obtain through expanded academic curricula but also practical knowledge (i.e., how to apply what they have learned within the demands and constraints of the real world). Internships and co-ops are essential ways for students to experience a bit of what they can expect before they graduate. They allow students to apply what they are learning in class and also help students learn new skills and identify potential career paths available to them. Engagement between airports and academia is limited. 15.3% of airport respondents and 14.3% of professional firm respondents indicated that their airport/firm engages in guest speaker activities at academic institutions. 18.4% of airport respondents and 7.7% of professional firm respondents host site visits for student organizations from academic programs.
Motivation: Addressing the Needs of the Airport Workforce 11 Airport professionals perceive a lack of adequate internship opportu- nities. A limited number of airports have established programs, while others are in the process of developing them. For the most part, stu- dents graduate without having participated in any type of internship or co-op, placing them at a disadvantage when entering their first job. Although the need is clear, the future availability of internships and co-ops is dependent on local airports and academic institutions com- ing together to develop opportunities that meet the needs of students, while also taking into consideration the constraints faced by airports. Airport On-Campus Involvement Outreach and collaboration between airports and academia can also go beyond internships to include airport involvement on campus, both inside and outside the classroom. This includes opportunities such as airport leaders serving as guest speakers in classes. Focus group participants highlighted instances in which airport leaders bring some of the real-world problems they are facing at their airport into the classroom for students to review. These challenges are then inte- grated into the class curriculum as case studies, with student teams assigned to spend part of the semester devising a solution to the problem at hand and then presenting this solution to the airport. These case studies provide another avenue for students to gain insight into the real world of airports, outside of participating in an internship. In addition to participating in the classroom, airports should also aim to connect with students by attending university-sponsored industry nights or other events held by student organizations, such as local American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) student chapters. Ensuring Recent Graduates Have Appropriate Skills for the Workplace The skills of recent graduates reflect what they have learned in the classroom along with their involvement in extracurricular activities, internships, or co-ops. The study identified three important areas that are crucial for recent graduates: â¢ Knowledge of the airport industry â¢ Technological skills â¢ Personal effectiveness and professional skills Knowledge of the Airport Industry Airport professionals agree that recent graduates entering the workforce generally have a sufficient knowledge base to begin their career within an airport organization, along with a passion for aviation and desire to continue learning. However, new employees within both MCO and business-related occupations do not have exposure to the airport-specific aspects of their roles (Cronin et al. 2016). Therefore, in some instances, graduates may overestimate their ability to apply their classroom knowledge within a real airport situation. For example, recent graduates learn about important airport and aviation regulatory issues, but they lack knowledge of which regulations apply to various situations, or how to apply the regulations to job tasks within an actual airport environment. Ultimately, graduates typically work in the industry for several years before they develop sufficient skills to be able to take on a specialized role. 21.6% of airport survey respondents and 23.6% of professional firm respondents offer internships, co-ops, or seasonal positions that they fill with college/ university students. Over 71% of airport respondents and 81% of professional firm respondents did not participate in an internship or co-op at an airport/airport-related professional service firm while enrolled in their own program of study. The biggest detriment [is graduates] coming out of college programs saying âwe know this.â But do they know how to apply this knowledge in the real world? Or what you need to do to actually get things done? â Airport Operations Agent
12 Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals Technological Skills The airport industry is experiencing fundamental shifts due to advances in technology, result- ing in the need for new skills that previously did not exist (Wensveen 2017). Rapid changes and advancements require employees to be familiar with both current technology and to continually learn the new technical skills required as new systems are implemented. Required technical capa- bilities include general computer skills, knowledge of computer software programs, IT skills, and experience with data analytics. A key strength of recent graduates entering the workforce is their ability to efficiently and effectively use technology, including different systems and software for finding and gathering information. However, some graduates lack the problem-solving and analytical skills necessary to analyze the data they gather and use it as a basis for informed decision- making. This gap should be addressed, given the growing emphasis on using data to track passenger experiences and leveraging big data to make key operational decisions. Personal Effectiveness and Professional Skills Technical skills alone do not lead to successful job performance. New professionals must also have the personal characteristics and behaviors that support a productive and coop- erative workplace (Phillips et al. 2006). This includes basic interper- sonal, written, and verbal communication skills as well as the ability to work in teams. Other non-technical skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, decisionmaking, rapport building, negotiation, and a willingness to adapt. Although many of these skills are ultimately required to lead and plan for an airportâs future, they are covered in less than one-third of airport training and education programs (ICF 2018). One of the weaknesses seen in recent graduates is their lack of these skills. For example, many of the airport professionals inter- viewed perceive that recent graduates do not feel comfortable com- municating with others or to groups and have difficulty conveying technical information. Addressing Existing Challenges in Hiring Recent Graduates Beyond ensuring that graduates are adequately prepared for gainful employment, air- ports also face the challenge of finding and hiring skilled applicants. Airports prefer to hire entry-level employees out of aviation degree programs that have a background in aviation manage ment or airport administration. However, airport representatives who participated in this study have experienced difficulty over the past several years in finding and hiring recent graduates out of these programs. This is due, in part, to the large demand for these types of students but also to the limited number of aviation degree programs from which to pull new talent. As a result, airports are now hiring recent graduates who do not have a degree from an aviation program but still have a passion or interest in aviation. Generally, airports have success with this approach and can teach the necessary aviation-specific skills in house. Despite these efforts, a survey of 137 airport professionals and airport consultants points to several skill areas from which it is âextremely challengingâ or âvery challengingâ to hire, includ- ing the following: â¢ Technical Communication (report writing, etc.) â¢ Environmental Issues People feel uneasy interacting and communicating â we need people who can communicate with each other and groups â those people end up being very successful. â Airport Deputy Executive Director, Development
Motivation: Addressing the Needs of the Airport Workforce 13 â¢ Public Policy â¢ Airport Engineering â¢ Geographic Systems (GIS) â¢ Airport Finance Survey respondents reported that many of these skill areas are not frequently covered in their programs, or not covered in a standalone, airport-related course. Table 2.1 highlights the skills and topics that were identified as either âextremelyâ or âvery challengingâ to find in job appli- cants. Data is also provided regarding the type(s) of classes in which respondents indicated each of these skills or topics was covered. Skill/Topic Area At least 25% of respondents indicated as âExtremely Challengingâ or âVery Challengingâ to hire ï¼ = airports *= professional firms Coverage in Coursework % of Airport respondents indicating this topic was not covered in their program % of Airport respondents indicating this topic was covered in a standalone airport-related course % of Airport respondents indicating this topic was covered in an aviation course not specific to airports % of Airport respondents indicating this topic was covered in a course not specific to aviation Geographic Information System (GIS) ï¼* 80.8% 1.9% 3.9% 13.5% Airport Engineering ï¼* 69.2% 19.2% 7.7% 3.9% Public Policy ï¼ 40.4% 7.7% 21.2% 30.8% Emergency Mgmt 40.4% 17.3% 26.9% 15.4% Airport Design ï¼* 38.5% 50.0% 5.8% 5.8% Airport-Airspace Compatibility ï¼* 38.5% 42.3% 17.3% 1.9% Safety Management 38.5% 21.2% 25.0% 15.4% Airport Planning ï¼* 34.6% 51.9% 11.5% 1.9% Environmental Issues ï¼* 34.6% 23.1% 19.2% 23.1% Airport Finance ï¼ 34.0% 37.7% 13.2% 15.1% Airport Operations: Airside ï¼* 32.7% 46.2% 21.2% 0.0% Airport Admin 32.7% 42.3% 17.3% 7.7% Airport Operations: Terminal/Landside * 32.7% 44.2% 17.3% 0.0% Airport Security 30.8% 44.2% 17.3% 7.7% Airport Regulations ï¼* 28.9% 50.0% 19.2% 1.9% Technical Communications (report writing, etc.) * 26.9% 7.7% 9.6% 55.8% Professionalism ï¼ 15.1% 11.3% 18.9% 54.7% Table 2.1. Skills and topics highlighted in hiring challenges and academic coverage.
14 Enhancing Academic Programs to Prepare Future Airport Industry Professionals Summary of Data and Findings There are many instances in which coordination and communication between academic institutions and the airport industry is limited or lacking. As a result, a disconnect exists between the industry workforce needs and the education that academic programs currently provide. Rather than academic institutions dictating the needs of the industry, academia and the airport industry may enhance academic programming by working together to revise curricula content that is more focused on learning outcomes that meet the needs of the industry. Likewise, airports will benefit from partnerships with academic programs that prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills required for all MCOs and relevant skilled-trade jobs.