Department of Air Transport at Cranfield University Higher Education Courses
In today's rapidly changing air transport environment, governments, airlines and airport authorities are facing increasingly complex and often conflicting pressures. Effective management, planning and training can help to solve these problems but the industry requires access to advanced and comprehensive knowledge, coupled with an in-depth understanding of its needs.
The Air Transport Group at Cranfield University combines a wealth of practical expertise together with extensive research and teaching experience in one centre of excellence. Cranfield has been serving the air transport industry for over a quarter of a century. The Group is the main European centre for strategic and applied research and consultancy in all aspects of the operation and management of airlines, airports and air traffic control services. It also provides career development training and postgraduate teaching.
As well as a full-time staff of eleven lecturers and researchers, the Group can draw on expertise and resources from elsewhere within Cranfield, notably the College of Aeronautics, and externally from other air transport specialists. Supported by extensive library facilities and on-line access to databases, the Group is heavily engaged in four major activities:
The Group runs a one-year full time postgraduate Masters (MSc) course in Air Transport, whose aim is to prepare graduates, either directly from university or with work experience, for careers at a senior level in the management of the civil air transport industry.
The course is focused around a structured lecture programme, but also includes case study work, seminars led by industry experts, videos, visits and flights in the College aircraft. The course includes a thesis, which provides an opportunity to study a problem in considerable detail, and sponsoring organisations may co-operate in the choice of a suitable subject.
At any one time, there are also around 20 students preparing Doctorates (PhD) in Air Transport. These cover many of the areas of research listed below. A part-time Executive MSc was introduced in November 1995 as a direct response to demand from the air transport industry. Besides having its origin in the full-time MSc course, the part-time MSc makes use of a number of highly successful one week residential professional courses offered by the Group.
A large number of externally or internally funded research projects are normally being undertaken at any one time. Unrivalled facilities in the UK University sector, such as flight test Jetstream aircraft, are also available for research assignments. Research focuses on three key areas:
Airline business developments, including:
- Low cost and charter airline business models and operations
- Airline operations in remote regions (public service routes)
- Airline productivity and efficiency
- Airline distribution and travel planning
- Airline revenue management
- Airline alliances
Airport economics and operations, including:
- Benchmarking of airport and ground handling charges
- The economic regulation of airports
- Air traffic forecasting
- The provision of air transport infrastructure in remote regions
Aircraft operations and planning, including:
- Fleet planning and aircraft acquisition
- Aircraft financing
- Corporate and business aviation
Safety and accident investigations, including:
- Safety management in the airline industry
- Aviation safety assessment
- Aviation operation management & accident investigation
- Ramp safety
Much of this research is published in the form of either the Group's own Research Reports or articles/papers by staff from the Group in academic and other publications. The Group has recently published an in-depth study of low cost and charter airlines.
The Group has extensive worldwide research and consultancy experience. Its professional staff are engaged in a variety of consultancy projects for a very wide range of clients, ensuring a thorough understanding of industry requirements. Services are offered in the following major areas:
- Airport forecasting, marketing, operations & planning
- Air transport regulation
- Air transport systems planning
- Airline marketing, economics & strategy
- Corporate and business aviation
- Air safety & accident investigation
- Airspace & air traffic control
The client list includes major international bodies such as ICAO, UNDP, the World Bank and other regional development banks, and the European Commission. In the UK, work has been undertaken for the Civil Aviation Authority and Ministries of Transport, Trade & Industry and Defence, while the Argentinean, Malaysian and Norwegian governments are examples of recent overseas clients.
A large number of airlines (both scheduled and charter), airports and civil aviation departments worldwide have also benefited from consultancy assignments performed by the Group's staff. The Group is also ideally placed to offer training in conjunction with specific consulting assignments; this could take the form of on-site seminars or more specific counterpart training.
Recent work has included advice on air traffic forecasting and financial modelling in connection with airport privatisations in Malaysia, Jamaica, Mexico, Argentina, Hanover, London Luton and Berlin. A study was completed for a major European airline on new transatlantic routes, and on travel agency relationships for another European airline. Regular studies are undertaken on airport and ground handling charges, and advice was given to a large European hub airport on service standards.
A large number of residential short courses are offered each year lasting from one to six weeks. They enable employee training and professional updating without long absences from the workplace in management and technical disciplines:
Operations, Safety & Regulation
- Accident investigation for air crew/operations executives
- Aircraft accident investigation
- Accident investigation at airports
- Airside safety management
- Aircraft performance for air transport managers
- Airline crisis management
- Infrastructure & safety management
- International air law & regulation
- Reliability analysis
- Safety assessment of aircraft systems
- The management of human error in aircraft maintenance
- Air transport management seminar
- Air transport forecasting seminar
- Air transport in remote regions
- Aircraft performance
- Airline planning: aircraft acquisition
- Airport economics & finance
- Airport commercial revenues
- Airline finance: appreciation & issues
- In-flight entertainment
- Marketing for profit in air transport
- Quantitative methods in air transport
In addition, tailor-made courses are designed to meet the specific needs of firms in the aviation industry, and can be run in-house or on campus. For instance, courses have been run for:
British Airways, China Southern, Cyprus Airways, Emirates Airlines, Finnair, LOT Polish Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, South African Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Aena (Spanish Airports Authority), Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Birmingham Airport, and Estonian Airports.
Amex, British Telecom, Embraer, Sema Schlumberger, SITA, UBS Warburg