High-flying aviation students advise Birmingham Airport on noise pollution

March 2018

Six Aviation and Airport Management degree (AAM) students have spent this morning in important discussions with Birmingham Airport’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, Andy Holding, detailing ways to build positive relationships with neighbouring communities and deal with local complaints.

Second year students on AAM’s Sustainable Aviation Management module have been working closely on projects with Birmingham Airport’s wider sustainability team over the past several months. Together, they have been exploring community-based methods of tackling issues surrounding noise pollution, a prominent stumbling block in the expansion of airports across the UK.

Andy listened intently to a diverse set of proposals on how best to minimise complaints about plane arrival and departure noise, from increasing the airport’s social media presence, to organising more school visits, to expanding the airport’s customer relations team and creating a 24-hour complaint hotline.

Offering detailed feedback on each presentation, Andy was particularly impressed by the students’ analysis of cultural and generational factors affecting how and why different communities may make a complaint.

“It’s so great to have this opportunity, because not only is it a chance to get valuable feedback, it is a chance to become a memorable face to future employers,” said student Mazhar Khan, whose presentation centred on ways advanced technology could build a positive reputation for Birmingham Airport within the local area.

“I am currently training to become a pilot, so I enjoy working closely with airports like Birmingham because it gives you an insider’s view of how airlines operate.”

Organised by The Business School lecturer Simon Faulkner, students were encouraged to research different community relations policies of airports across the UK and beyond. They then worked independently to tailor those policies to Birmingham Airport’s unique size, setting and resources.

“It can be scary doing presentations like this,” added student Ivelina Ivanova, “but it is such good experience. Working with Birmingham Airport has helped me to get out there and explore the constantly expanding set of opportunities there are in this industry, especially in this area.”

 “Your solutions have been interesting, original and, obviously, very carefully planned and researched,” concluded Andy during presentation feedback. “It is really valuable to us to have these new ideas to keep a completely fresh perspective, and I have learned a lot that I will be able to take back and discuss with my team.”

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