Welcome to a special edition of the Vaughn College blog. We are excited to share with you our popular Management Speaker Series, where we take a deeper dive into how this instrumental networking experience inspires and educates Vaughn’s students, faculty and members of our community.

We met up with Dr. Maxine Lubner, professor and chair of the management department at Vaughn, who offered her insights and expertise in spearheading the speaker series and the important role it continues to play in the success of Vaughn’s students who are seeking a degree in airport, airline and general management.

A network of experience

Part of Vaughn’s commitment to the success of its students is the industry experience so many of its instructors and professors bring into the classroom. The Management Speaker Series takes that commitment one step further by bringing real-world knowledge to our students through the exceptional reputations and experience of our network of aviation management professionals. “The Management Speaker Series is a great way for industry professionals to share their experiences,” said Dr. Lubner. “It’s a win-win, as it helps to enhance Vaughn’s reputation as a stellar institution while offering networking opportunities and valuable information for our students, faculty, and attendees. It’s just one of the ways Vaughn gives back to its students.”

Here, we highlight two industry professionals who bring years of experience from a variety of roles that encompass the world of aviation management.

Bradley Mims

Bradley MimsOn Friday, March 19, the management department welcomed A. Bradley Mims, who was recently appointed deputy administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). For more than 40 years, Mims has served as a transportation professional in government and the private sector. Mims spoke of many “firsts” in his career, which included working as the first African American staffer for Gaylord Nelson, a former senator from Wisconsin, as well as being the first African American legislative director for the late Congressman Lewis, which he said was the turning point in his career.

During his discussion about aviation safety careers, Mims offered valuable advice to Vaughn students who participated in the session. He expressed the importance of not limiting yourself to just the job. “Learning how to lead people can put you in the upper echelon,” Mims said. “Progress and grow to become an expert in your field so you can put yourself in the capacity to lead and manage.” During his time working in the industry, Mims said he had to reinvent himself to learn about other avenues and opportunities. “We develop a level of love in what we do,” he explained. “To get to the next level, it’s important to expand your horizons of what you love. Be a leader and a teacher of the people.”

Kim Day

Kim DayThe management department at Vaughn welcomed Kim Day, chief executive officer at Denver International Airport (DEN) who spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on airports. For the past 13 years, Day led DEN to become the nation’s fifth-busiest airport as well as the region’s most powerful economic engine, having generated more than $33.5 billion annually. Denver International Airport entered the COVID-19 pandemic fiscally strong. During the presentation, Day explained how COVID-19 impacted airport operations, the management of DEN’s finances (post-pandemic) and how leveraging new technologies has been beneficial to the airport. With 700 days (approximately two years) of operating costs on hand, DEN is one of the few airports that did not have to lay employees off due to the pandemic. She explained how the airport deferred airline rental for three months and temporarily moved to a flat percentage of sales model for concessions and rental cars to further protect the airport’s ecosystem. Day expressed to the students that the whole ecosystem must be supported as concessionaires and rental car companies heavily affect revenue. “The lessons learned are to develop alternative plans,” she said. Currently, Day is heading a redevelopment of DEN’s iconic and tented Jeppesen Terminal that will modernize the facility, improve its security model and increase its capacity.

Benefits of the Management Speaker Series

The Management Speaker Series provides valuable opportunities for its attendees. The series is open to all students, faculty, and staff who are interested in hearing the latest industry news from top professionals in their field. Some of the benefits of attending include:

  • Excellent networking opportunities
  • Exposure to role models in high-level positions
  • Vision into where a Vaughn management degree can lead
  • Valuable insights on the future of aviation, industry analysis and the inside scoop on how airports are run
  • Understanding current protocols for COVID-19 and how to find opportunities for growth during a pandemic

Shifting to an online platform

Dr. Lubner explained how—despite having to shift the Management Speaker Series from its original in-person classroom presentations to a Zoom platform—attendees still continue to benefit from these sessions in more ways than expected. Here are some examples of how attending the Management Speaker Series via Zoom is making the experience more fruitful:

  • Greater convenience for speakers and listeners to attend
  • Normally shy or timid students can interact easily by asking questions via the chat
  • Attracts a broader audience that includes members of the industry advisory council, trustees and members of administration from other colleges
  • Greater ability to secure a broad range of speakers when travel is not a factor

Stay tuned for future blogs as we feature more inspiring speakers who will fuel your passion for working in the aviation and airline management industry.

Are you interested in a career in this exciting field? Discover the various career possibilities that an airline/airport management degree from Vaughn can provide. Interested in learning about where Vaughn students have landed with their airport management degrees? Check out the inspirational stories of Otha Ward ’19, Patrick Batey ’16  and Edison Luo ’15.

The future of urban air mobility will reach new heights as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is collaborating with NASA on their Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign. Yes, the future of “flying cars” may be closer than we think, as efforts to accelerate the realization of emerging aviation markets for passenger and cargo travel is looking up—literally.

Vaughn College discusses NASA’s vision as part of the Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign and how this evolving transportation system may become a reality sooner than you think due to a growing focus on environment sustainability. But first, let’s get you caught up on what urban air mobility is.

What is urban air mobility?

NASA defines urban air mobility (UAM) as a “system for air passenger and cargo transportation within an urban area, inclusive of small package delivery and other urban unmanned aircraft systems services.” In other words, NASA’s vision of this new era in air travel is to ensure safe and efficient air transportation as a revolutionary way of safely moving people and cargo from one place to another in congested environments. You can read more about this in our blog, Urban Air Mobility: Transforming Sky Transportation.

NASA’s vision for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) mission

Imagine beating traffic on the roadways by traveling in a revolutionary aircraft instead of driving? NASA’s vision is to help emerging aviation markets develop an air metro transportation system to move people and cargo between areas not previously served—or underserved—by aviation that uses revolutionary new aircraft. This project will provide a substantial benefit not only to the public but also to the industry. Here are some key points that align with NASA’s vision for AAM:

  • Local and intraregional aviation missions are safe, sustainable, accessible and affordable.
  • Ensures the program will include local missions of an approximate 50-mile radius in rural or urban areas, and a few hundred miles for intraregional missions that occur between urban areas as well as between rural areas—or between rural and urban areas.
  • Missions include the transportation of passengers, cargo and aerial work missions, including infrastructure inspections or search and rescue operations.

Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign

Beginning in 2022, NASA will begin hosting a series of activities as part of its Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign. The campaign is designed to promote public confidence in the safety of AAM while capturing the imagination through community-wide learning. The series will provide industry insights to prospective vehicle manufacturers, operators and prospective airspace service providers. The series is also geared toward gathering industry partners that include aircraft manufacturers and airspace service providers.

The vehicles that make it happen

With all the excitement surrounding UAM, it’s time to focus on the vehicles that can ultimately make this vision a reality. The vision involves two factors—new aircraft designs and systems technologies. It’s anticipated that some of the new aircraft designs will include, for example, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities for metropolitan commutes. Thanks to the advancement of distributed electric propulsion (DEP) and the development of electric VTOLs (eVTOLs), it may be possible for these operations to be utilized more frequently, as well as in more locations. Industry professionals believe initial operations will be flown with a pilot in command (PIC) on board the VTOL aircraft. Looking to the future, sky transportation has the potential to becoming fully autonomous with remote PICs.

When will it happen?

According to a report recently published by ResearchAndMarkets.com, titled, “Urban Air Mobility Market Size, Share, Study By Component, By Operations By Range, And Segment Forecasts” air metro will be a viable market by 2028, and may well replace standard public transit options such as subways and buses, among other vehicles. The report cites that Europe is the fastest-growing region in the urban air mobility market. Additionally, the global urban air mobility market is expected to reach $7.9 billion by 2030. Several companies have developed eVTOL prototypes, which include Airbus A3, AIRSPACEX, Carter Aviation, Passenger Drone, Lilium Aviation, Volocopter, Aurora Flight Sciences (A Boeing Company), Joby Aviation, Workhorse, Delorean Aerospace, XTI Aircraft, AviaNovations and Embraer.

Vaughn’s readiness in AAM

We caught up with Dr. Hossein Rahemi, chair of Vaughn’s engineering and technology department regarding an exciting new unmanned aerial systems (UAS) certificate program that Vaughn is in the process of developing. “We have developed the curriculum and received New York State Department of Education approval for the new program, which will give students the knowledge and skills to be marketable in the growing field of air mobility.” He explained that this certificate program will cover design, construction, application, operation and system integration for unmanned aeriel vehicles (UAV). “Courses will cover topics such as introduction to UAV, drones’ rapid prototyping, drone law and remote piloting—where students will gain hands-on experience in designing, constructing and operating UAVs for specific applications,” Rahemi said. The Vaughn community is very excited about rolling out the new program in the coming months.

Vaughn’s mission is to provide a dynamic learning environment built on our aeronautical heritage that inspires a diverse and committed community of students to achieve success as leaders in the industries we serve. Rahemi went on to note that the the UAS certificate program carries out this mission by providing students with the skills, engineering and application-oriented education that will enhance their career opportunities in today’s aerospace, UAV and air mobility industries.

See how an engineering and technology degree from Vaughn College can set you on a path to a futureproof career. Apply today!

When we hear the word “aviation” our minds typically turn to airplanes and pilots. But did you ever wonder who is working on the ground to keep the industry moving and keep travelers, pilots and flight attendants safe?

This month, we spotlight the exciting careers you can pursue in the airport and airline management industry. If you have a passion for aviation—but would prefer to keep your feet on the ground—your futureproof career may lie within one of these sectors. Read on to learn more about these in-demand careers and the success stories of graduates from Vaughn who have landed their dream jobs doing what they love.

Air Traffic Controller

If becoming an air traffic controller has been on your radar, you may want to learn more about this exciting career. Air traffic controllers (ATCs) are so much more than “eyes in the sky.” On a daily basis, air traffic controllers are responsible for monitoring aircraft through the use of radar and other equipment. Air traffic controllers require a particular set of skills and a talent for teamwork to be successful.

Responsibilities of an Air Traffic Controller

In addition to coordinating and monitoring the movement of aircraft within safe distances—both in the air and on the ground—they have other responsibilities that include:

  • Controlling ground traffic at airport runways and taxiways
  • Issuing landing and takeoff instructions to pilots
  • Transferring control of departing flights to other traffic control centers and accepting control of arriving flights

Aviation enthusiasts from all walks of life are flocking toward a career in air traffic control for its unique benefits. If you are one of these enthusiasts, benefits of being an air traffic controller include:

  • Potential to earn a six-figure salary after first few years of service
  • Consistent work schedule
  • Mandatory retirement age at 56—with full federal benefits
How Vaughn Can Get You There

Vaughn can prepare you for this exciting career as an air traffic controller, and in less time than you might have imagined. Vaughn partners with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to offer the Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI). Why is that important? By attending an AT-CTI institution like Vaughn, you get to bypass the biometric screening that’s required by the FAA and could enter the training program faster. Vaughn is one of only 30 colleges in the country to offer this program and is the only program of its kind in the Northeast.

Vaughn Student Success Story: Air Traffic Control
Jessenia Diaz
Jessenia Diaz ’10

Vaughn College graduate Jessenia Diaz ’10 landed her dream job as an air traffic controller at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens. In December 2010, she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in airport management and general management, received the board of trustees award at spring convocation and was selected as the student commencement speaker for 2011.

“Pilots may have the best equipment on the plane, but they depend on us to navigate them from the ground. I love my job and wouldn’t trade working in New York for anything. My time at Vaughn gave me the knowledge and experience to get me where I am today.”

Learn more about what a day in the life of an air traffic controller is like.

Airport Security Manager

The role of an airport security manager is considered one of the most complex security jobs anywhere. There’s no doubt that the safety of airline passengers is a priority. Internationally, safety managers follow the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) to help manage aviation safety risks in coordination with their service providers.

Airport Security Manager Job Functions

In the US, safety managers are responsible for promoting safety awareness by adhering to regulations from the FAA and other agencies, which include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Homeland Security. Here are some of the essential responsibilities of a airport security manager:

  • Maintain the safety and security of the airport
  • Review and revise airport safety and security plans
  • Develop and implement employee safety policies and practices
  • Inspect runway lighting
  • Keep runways clear
  • Ensure airfield is protected
How Vaughn Can Get You There

Vaughn College offers an airport management degree program to prepare students for the various functional areas of aviation and business management. Located across from New York’s newly-renovated LaGuardia Airport, the learning environment at Vaughn College provides unsurpassed experiences for students. If airport management is a career you are considering, Vaughn will prepare you to work full-time in either an airport or related industry.

Vaughn adjunct professor Al Graser, who teaches airport and operations management at the College, shared his insights about the planning and security measures that were taken in preparation for the 2016 Olympic games, which were held in Brazil.

“Brazil put forth a major effort to prepare for the 2016 Olympic games. It appears this type of investment will ensure the security, service and operations for all users of the airport during the Olympic games and into the future.”

Airport Operations Manager

Airports operate under Part 139 Certification, issued by the FAA to ensure safety in air transportation. With that being understood, the role of an operations manager is to supervise and coordinate the day-to-day landside and airside operations of the airport. They must possess outstanding management and communication skills and have full knowledge of FAA rules, among other requirements. Here is snapshot of how it all breaks down:

Landside responsibilities:
  • Managing various airline terminals and concourses
  • Ensuring the safety and flow of roadways for buses, passenger cars, etc.
  • Overseeing retail operations, such as shops and restaurants
  • Assisting in the preparation of annual budgets for airport operations
Airside responsibilities:
  • Ensuring runways and taxiways are open and clear
  • Coordinating ground operations, including baggage and catering
  • Managing aircraft fueling
  • Communicating with air traffic control
  • Planning and coordinating the arrivals and departures of very important people (VIPs)
How Vaughn Can Get You There

Vaughn’s faculty, staff and curriculum work together seamlessly to ensure their students’ success. For Vaughn airport management graduate Otha Ward ’19 a summer internship, leadership roles and outstanding professors proved to be a winning combination in helping him land his position of airport operations agent at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Vaughn Student Success Story: Airport Operations
Otha Ward
Otha Ward ’19

Otha credits Vaughn with helping him to pursue his dream of securing a rewarding career at an international airport.

“Vaughn is a special place,” he stated humbly. “The College has connections that set it apart from other institutions—making that one of its greatest assets. I’m grateful to everyone at Vaughn for helping me get to where I am today.”

Air Cargo Manager

The air cargo market has seen a recent surge in demand, as airfreight and cargo companies have become an essential part of transporting medical supplies and other life-saving equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent market report—Global Air Cargo Market 2020-2024—released by Technavio (a global technology research and advisory company), the air cargo market is expected to grow by 16.75 million tons during this four-year timeframe. Freight and cargo managers are an integral part of this growing industry, as they are responsible for revenue management, quality control and understanding the needs of shippers to ultimately enhance profitability.

Advantages of Choosing Vaughn

Vaughn’s long-term relationship with Atlas Air has resulted in many alumni landing internships and ultimately full-time positions with this renowned aviation cargo company. Karen Batson ’04, Vaughn alumna and adjunct faculty member, has been instrumental in hiring more than 30 of the College’s recent graduates to work at Atlas Air because she knows how Vaughn prepares graduates for successful careers in the aviation field.

Vaughn Student Success Story: Air Cargo
Vladislav Makarov
Vladislav Makarov ’16

Vaughn College alumnus Vladislav Makarov ’16 landed his job at air cargo company Atlas Air in 2015, never imagining how valuable his dual bachelor’s degrees in airport and airline management from Vaughn would become—especially during an unforeseen pandemic.

“Vaughn’s curriculum prepares you for the field you’ll be working in by providing real-world practical examples that you can use right away,” Makarov said. “Unlike my experiences at other colleges, at Vaughn, you jump right into the core of what you will be doing in your field after graduation.”

Earn a Master’s Degree in Airport and Aviation Management at Vaughn

At Vaughn, you can take your passion to the next level with a master’s degree in either airport management or aviation management.

Master of Science in Airport Management

Did you know Vaughn College offers one of the few graduate-level programs in airport management in the Northeast? Our airport management degree program applies modern management concepts to the aviation environment by incorporating the most current research and state-of-the-art technology so that students can be prepared and adaptable to this ever-changing industry. If this career choice interests you, a master’s degree in airport management will not only expand your career opportunities but also enhance your risk assessment, management and leadership skills.

The master’s in airport management degree program requires 34 credits and includes a master’s project or thesis. Vaughn’s close proximity to world-class airports gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and knowledge from instructors who are industry leaders. You can complete the master’s in airport management degree program in one year, but you also have the opportunity to schedule your courses over your own timelines.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Aviation Management

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Aviation Management will provide entry- or mid-level professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in general management and aviation-related organizations. This course of study will provide the opportunity to learn and apply scientific methods to understanding and addressing business and aviation topics. Depending on a student’s academic background, they may be required to complete some basic business training. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Aviation Management has at its core 35 credits and will include an industry analysis project.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the various careers you can pursue in the aviation and airport management fields. Feeling inspired? Join us for our Virtual Open House on April 8 at 6 p.m. and “Meet The Future You.” We look forward to seeing you there!