UCB Aviation & Airport Management Degree students tour Birmingham Airport

October 2014

The first intake of UCB’s BA and FdA Aviation & Airport Management students took a tour of Birmingham Airport’s landside facilities to get an insight into operations in the airline industry. 

A total of 50 students, who began the new degree course last month, were given a presentation by Airport Guru Stefanie Bowes, detailing the airport’s facilities, services and its recent and future developments. New developments included a runway extension and control tower and negotiations with airlines in order to offer new destinations such as Beijing, Athens and Reykjavík. 

The presentation was followed by a meeting with Birmingham Airport’s CEO Paul Kehoe, who spoke to the students about their degree course and possible placement opportunities available at the airport. 

 “We were delighted to welcome students from University College Birmingham during a recent visit to the airport, as part of their aviation and airport management course,” said Mr Kehoe. “It was great to meet them personally and learn all about their ambitions to work in the industry. 

“Their obvious enthusiasm to pursue a career in aviation was encouraging to see and we hope the visit gave them a valuable insight into how an airport operates.” 

Whilst being shown around the airport, the students learnt about how important it is to develop and maintain relationships with airlines and spoke with a representative from fast-growing airline Emirates. The students also watched a recent video in which Birmingham Airport received its first flight from China in July – the first airport outside of London to do so. 

“The whole day was very interesting,” said Najib Sufi, who is studying Aviation & Airport Management. “I learnt about the wide variety of job roles in the industry and which career pathway is right for me. I would love a job where I travelled and met people instead of being behind a desk all the time, so a customer-facing role, like Birmingham’s Airport Gurus, would be ideal for me.” 

To end the tour, the group met two of Birmingham’s security trainers who spoke about careers in airport security and up-coming recruitment opportunities. They also spoke about the recent developments and challenges that affect Customs and looked at how past events have influenced airport security procedures. 

Airport staff closed the day by giving a practical demonstration of how to correctly conduct a full body search and showed the students examples of the kind of unusual objects that passengers have tried to take through Customs. 

Roger Pursall, Aviation & Airport Management lecturer, said: “The visit provided our Aviation and Airport students with an excellent introduction to the workings of one of the UK’s major international airports. The importance of Birmingham Airport to the region was emphasised with many students leaving with a desire to pursue a career in this exciting industry.”