October 10, 2006

Aviation career fair, banquet set for Oct. 20

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Phil Boyer, president of the nation's largest general aviation pilots' organization, will deliver the keynote address later this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's 2006 "Aviation in the Future" Career Fair and banquet.

The 12th career fair is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, in the Student Center Ballrooms A, B, and C. The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. in Ballroom D.


Media Advisory


Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the career fair and banquet. Phil Boyer will be available for interviews at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, in the foyer area outside Ballroom D. For more information, contact David A. NewMyer at 618/453-8898, or Jeffrey D. Jaynes, president of the University's Aviation Management Society at 630/542-1984.


Boyer is president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association —an organization that represents more than 400,000 pilots and aircraft owners in the United States. David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight, expects Boyer to discuss a proposal before Congress to enact user fees on general aviation —which is aviation other than airlines or military aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing general aviation user fees — where pilots pay for such services as filing flight plans and receiving weather information, said banquet co-chair Jonathan A. Joseph, a junior in aviation management from Riverwoods. Currently, airlines pay about 85 percent of the costs to operate the nation's airspace structure. General aviation users pay some of the remaining costs through excise taxes on aviation fuel, and the military also pays into the system, NewMyer said.

Joseph said there are concerns that the proposed cost increase will result in a decline in general aviation activity. Other countries implement user fees and they are not as strong in general aviation, he said.

"As far as numbers, the general aviation community includes approximately 220,000 individually owned and corporate-owned aircraft," NewMyer said. "If those user fees are increased, the costs here, for example, at SIUC for our students are going to go up fairly dramatically."

The Department of Aviation Management and Flight is in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

NewMyer predicts as many as 300 to 400 people, including local and regional pilots, will attend the banquet. Tickets for the dinner are $30 for adults and $15 for SIUC students, and are available at http://www.aviation.siu.edu/ams/banquet04.htm

The career fair earlier in the day is "one of the largest student-run aviation career fairs in the country," NewMyer said.

Aviation-related career options involve more than just flying planes. There are 2.1 million jobs in aviation, and 9 percent of the nation's gross domestic product is aviation-related, NewMyer said.

In addition to aviation students, participating firms hope to talk with students majoring in such fields as business, communications and engineering, NewMyer said. Career fair participants include American Airlines, St. Louis-based Boeing Corp., AirTran Airways, jetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Wood Dale-based AAR Corp.

Shaping high-quality undergraduate programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Phil Boyer

Phil Boyer
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