Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research


Jose R. RuizFollow






A large number of collegiate Aviation institutions throughout the United States maintain an airline flight operations internship program. “According to the University Aviation Association, students can choose [an airline flight operations internship] from among more than 270 two- or four-year accredited aviation colleges or universities" (Phillips, 1996, p. 43). A variety of authors have identified the benefits associated with these collegiate aviation and airline industry partnerships. For example, Bradley (1997) noted: "One of the keys for bridging the experience gap among young pilots is to develop closer cooperation between industry and schools, including establishing internship and work/educational cooperatives" (p. 80). During a presentation conducted at the Air Transport Association Operations and Safety Forum in 1997, Turney mentioned: ... aviation employers can look forward to the following benefits of starting an intern program: Highly motivated and enthusiastic employees; short term commitment; meeting immediate staffing needs; providing a diverse population; freeing professional staff; and facilitating entry-level recruitment. (Kiteley, 1997, p. 3) The Aviation Management and Flight (AVMAF) Department of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (STUC) has maintained an airline flight operations internship program since 1987. Two hundred twenty-four students, as identified from airline and AVMAF departmental internship records, have participated in the SIUC airline flight operations internship program since its inception in 1987. At the time of this study, SIUC maintained formal airline flight operations internship agreements with six U.S. major domestic air carriers, including: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Trans World Airlines LLC; United Airlines and United Parcel Service. A formal airline flight operations internship agreement also existed between SIUC and Chicago Express Airlines, a regional carrier serving the Midwest.



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