By Jennifer Christensen
A group of students from Bridgewater State University had the opportunity to tour Logan International Airport, the largest commercial airport in New England on Wednesday, March 27.
The morning included a tour of the communication center, an information session, and a 45-minute bus tour of the airport perimeter. The opportunity is rare for students, and was made possible because of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). The Bridgewater State chapter of this organization was established just last year, and members are currently in the process of obtaining accreditation.
“If we get accreditation it looks good on a resume,” said Johnny Truong, vice president of AAAE at Bridgewater State. “It allows us to build relationships with industry professionals and plan trips like this.”
The students gained a valuable experience on the trip, as they freely took pictures and asked questions. When touring the Logan Airport facilities, students were able to talk to Eddie Tyson, the manager of the communication center.
Tyson explained the many security procedures airports must have. According to Tyson, Logan Airport has over 1,000 doors monitored by security and covered by key card, code and bio reader.
During the information session, students learned valuable information about career advancement. This is good news for aviation majors, especially in the current economy when some people may not be booking as many flights. In the field, job positions range from airport supervisors to shift managers, or even pilots.
“Everyone in the aviation industry knows each other,” Truong said. “It’s a small world.”
Students also learned about the facility through a PowerPoint information session. According to the PowerPoint shown, in 2012 alone, Logan airport had 355,000 flights and about 29.3 million passengers. The airport spans 2,500 acres, boasts six runways and has four major terminals.
Robert Lynch, the airport operations manager, hosted the bus tour after the information session. Since Logan Airport is right near the water, Lynch said there are several obstacles that come with the location.
“Wildlife is actually our biggest problem,” Lynch said. “Sometimes we get coyotes but mostly we get seagulls. They drop shells on the runway to break them open. It sets off alarms.”
On the tour, students were able to see the airplanes up close and witnessed many of them taking off and landing. Bridgewater State students were shown various snow removal equipment on the tour, as well as the fire station.
“It’s fascinating to see the amount of money that goes into this,” said Vinny Furtado, secretary of the Bridgewater State chapter of AAAE. “There is so much attention to detail.”
Truong also said the Bridgewater State chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives hopes to have many more opportunities such as this one. These events allow students to make connections in the industry and eventually have a prosperous career.
Jennifer Christensen is a Comment staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org