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Homepage / Airport Planning and Management MSc student Sahil Smart talks about his experience studying at Cranfield

Airport Planning and Management MSc student Sahil Smart talks about his experience studying at Cranfield


Sahil Smart is studying for an MSc in Airport Planning and Management. Here, he talks about his passion for aviation, the benefits of studying at Cranfield, and his future career plans.

Why do you have a passion for aviation and this industry?

I was a high school student when one of the videos in the YouTube recommendations caught my eye. It was a documentary called “Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport”. It showed the operations of London Heathrow, and every possible area of the airport was addressed. Watching more and more content of such type was enough to get me fascinated. It felt like truly, this is the environment one should work in, the fresh and positive vibe of the airport terminal where everyone is excited about their upcoming destination or about returning to their hometown. Everybody loves to travel! For some individuals, travelling means visiting new locations, going sight-seeing, or experiencing the local food but when I hear travel the first thing that comes to my mind is heading to the airport and getting on a plane. Most people watch movies and sitcoms for entertainment but all I watch is aviation news, airport documentaries, and airline reviews, and try to get maximum insights into the industry. It is my passion, and now my career as well.

Why did you choose to study this course?

With these thoughts in mind, I began to consider how I might break into this field, and the best route I discovered was to pursue a master’s and get a good amount of theoretical and practical knowledge. When you decide to choose such a niche course, you can expect everyone around you to be equally fascinated about this field and even interacting with them gives thousands of various perspectives. Working on assignments, group projects, and a thesis allows you to put your concepts and knowledge to the test. One can learn everything from scratch. Furthermore, if you choose to shift abroad for studies it even exposes you to wider communities around the world who can share experiences of aviation from their regions.

Why did you choose to study at Cranfield?

I was never picky about any location/country while choosing a university for my master’s, hence I started taking a look at all the possible options. While browsing, I came across Cranfield quite a few times and that led me to the university website. One can easily tell from the virtual campus tour that Cranfield appears to be a paradise for aviation geeks. I went on the LinkedIn pages of each of the shortlisted universities and approached multiple alumni and faculty members from each university to get a better perspective. Even the ones who had studied the same course from other universities advised me to keep Cranfield as my first choice and not to look elsewhere if I received an offer. Going through the course curriculum, my requirements were satisfied, and I made a decision to come to Cranfield.

How is your experience at Cranfield?

Since I arrived on campus, I must say I am delighted with each and every aspect. Right after receiving my offer letter up until arriving in the UK, I received online support from respective teams from time to time, there was no communication gap at all. When it comes to my course, I couldn’t be more grateful! I can see that not only students but the teaching faculty are equally passionate about aviation and try their best to give students as much knowledge as possible alongside the best learning environment. The sessions are never boring and to make students aware of the industry scenarios, every module leader arranges a couple of guest lectures where successful personnel from the industry share their experience and guide on future trends in aviation. The assignments are thoughtfully designed that make students work more and read as much literature as possible. That in turn is beneficial while presenting your opinions. With a series of sessions, there are multiple group activities, guest sessions, and industrial visits, students just have to make the most of it!

What do you hope to do after you complete your MSc?

With the knowledge gathered, amazing ideas, and ambitions I hope to get straight into the operations side of the airport. Working in the terminal representing the airport is something that I believe I will be good at. I will be aiming at areas like passenger experience, landside, and airside operations management, and terminal duty management. Any role in the aviation industry is exciting for me but these are the aspects I am most passionate about.

Find out more about the Airport Planning and Management MSc

Sahil Smart

Written By: Antonia Molloy

Airport Planning and Management MSc student

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