July 05, 2011

Corporate/general aviation career day is July 15

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- High school students will have a chance later this month to learn more about corporate and general aviation during a career day at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The 10th annual Corporate Aviation/General Aviation Career Day at Southern Illinois Airport is Friday, July 15, and coincides with the University’s Open House. Students can participate in SIUC Open House activities that morning, and then come to Southern Illinois Airport for the aviation program.

“We are focusing on a segment of the industry that a lot of the kids don’t know about or think about,” said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight. “This segment in many ways is nearly as large in the numbers of jobs as the airlines.”

The event is free and open to high school students, including incoming high school freshmen. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the airport, which is between Carbondale and Murphysboro.

The career day runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Openings are still available. Go to aviation.siuc.edu/careerdays for more information or to register. The first 75 participants receive a free T-shirt.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the SIUC Corporate Aviation/General Aviation Career Day. Planes will arrive at Southern Illinois Airport, west of Carbondale, between 11 a.m. and noon, Friday, July 15. Personnel from corporate and general aviation companies, along with SIUC aviation faculty, will be available for interviews. Members of the media may also wish to attend the various presentations on aviation careers that begin at 3:15 p.m. For more information, contact David A. NewMyer or Lori Robertson at 618/453-8898.

General aviation refers to all flying except for military and the airlines. There are approximately 224,000 general aviation aircraft in the United States. Only about 10 percent of the nation’s approximately 5,000 airports provide service to airlines, leaving the remaining number for general and corporate aircraft.

There are approximately 638,000 jobs relating to corporate and general aviation in the United States, and NewMyer anticipates future growth within the industry. In spite of the nation’s economic downturn, the aviation industry “is seeing more hiring than we have seen probably in three years,” NewMyer said.

NewMyer points to a September 2010 forecast from The Boeing Company’s Current Market Outlook that the worldwide commercial aviation industry will need an average of 23,300 new pilots and 30,000 new maintenance personnel annually from 2010 to 2029. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration forecasts that several segments within the general aviation field -- turbine corporate airplanes, helicopters and light sport aircraft -- will also grow dramatically over the next 20 years.

Another attraction is that many general aviation jobs are in rural areas, where commercial aviation jobs are often in larger communities that have major airline hubs. In addition, general aviation offers a variety of job opportunities that include corporate and private airplanes and helicopters.

The event will cover careers in aviation flight, aviation management and aviation technologies. The University’s nationally recognized program is within the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Also included will be tours of the University’s aviation facilities at the airport, including an update on the 230,000-square-foot SIUC Transportation Education Center at the airport. Students will be able to meet SIUC aviation students, faculty, staff and alumni to answer questions.

Corporate and general aviation aircraft brought in by SIUC aviation alumni will begin arriving at the airport between 11 a.m. and noon.

Corporate aviation aircraft scheduled to arrive July 15 will represent Springfield-based Bunn-O-Matic Corp.; Cook Enterprises in Anna; Abbott Laboratories Inc., in Waukegan; and an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter out of Marion. General aviation aircraft will include a Cirrus SR22, a private airplane co-owned by aviation program graduate Doug Carr, vice president of government affairs for the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. NewMyer said he hopes that a few more aircraft and helicopters will also participate.

Other event sponsors include the National Air Transportation Association, the National Business Aviation Association and the Southern Illinois Airport Authority.

The itinerary for the day is:

  • 11 a.m.-noon -- Check in. Arrival of students, parents and chaperones and arrival of visiting corporate and general aviation planes at Southern Illinois Airport.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. -- Complimentary lunch provided by SIUC aviation and Southern Illinois Airport Authority in main terminal.
  • 12:30 p.m. -- Group photo on the main ramp.
  • 12:45 to 3 p.m. -- Introductory flights to the first 75 participants and tours of SIUC’s aviation facilities.
  • 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. -- Panel discussion on aviation career tracks and opportunities with corporate and general aviation professionals, along with information on SIUC’s aviation programs. Aviation Technologies Building, room 145.