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Homepage / My first weeks on the Airport Planning and Management MSc

My first weeks on the Airport Planning and Management MSc


Hi, my name is Shaun and I am 33 years old. I grew up in Birmingham but now live in London and I am a full-time student on the Airport Planning and Management MSc. I graduated from Buckinghamshire New University in 2020 in Organisational Capability and Development, which was a part-time undergrad degree.

I chose to come to Cranfield because of its excellent reputation and its links to the aviation industry, not just in the UK but around the world. The course really stood out to me because with air travel becoming more popular there are lots of challenges facing airports, COVID-19 is a prime example. Cranfield offers students a great opportunity to understand these challenges and take this knowledge to work with industry to try and solve them.

I was really excited to start the course and to get going! I applied as soon as the application process was available to us, and couldn’t wait to get going.

The modules run from October to March and they consist of;

Intro to Air Transport, Air Law, Airport Operations, Airport Finance and Business Management, Airport Strategic Planning, Research Methods and Statistics, Air Transport Environmental Planning, Airport Design and finally Market Analysis and Forecasting.

My first lecture was the ‘Introduction to the Air Transport Industry’ and was a great way to ease people into the first module. It gave us a sense of what the industry has been through during COVID, how economic shocks have happened before and the industry recovered, the variety of functions the aviation industry has and the environmental challenges that face the industry. I’m looking forward to the Air Transport Environmental Planning and Airport Design modules the most, but they are all going to be interesting and thought-provoking topics.

My class is quite small, with 12 of us on the course this year! There are two UK students and the others are from different parts of the world, and, for me, this is one of the best parts about the course. The staff have been great, they understand the days are long and there is lots to learn, so they make the lectures really engaging and nothing is too much of a problem, I honestly cannot fault them.

I have accessed the library online for journal articles for assignments and in-person to collect books. The staff are really helpful and the quality of resources is excellent! They also do tutorials on how to get the best out of the library which invaluable.

In terms of future career plans, there are so many options available to Airport Planning and Management students and lots of different career paths. I think it is too early to say for certain right now, but the opportunities are out there for us!

The weekends are a great opportunity to get organised for my studies and I have taken on an allotment! I think it’s very healthy to have a hobby or something to take your mind away from the course from time-to-time and I couldn’t think of a better way to do this, as well as keeping fit!

The shed currently has no roof…it’s a work in progress!

Shaun Littlehales

Written By: Alice Kirkaldy

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