Exciting Class Projects

Summer is only a few weeks away which means that projects and final exams are approaching quickly. I have three aviation-related projects due in the next two weeks. Yes, you saw the words exciting and projects go together in my title. This is probably one of the first time that I’m in school and I’m working on projects that are not boring. If you are a prospective Aviation Business student or you are just interested in the world of airports and airlines, I’m sure you will enjoy this story!

Airline-Airport Operations
The first group project is in my Airline-Airport Operations class. We have to write a report analyzing the relationship between airlines and airports. In our group, we have decided to do it on the effects of an airline merger on a hub airport. More specifically questioning if Delta Air Lines should keep Cincinnati Northern/Kentucky International Airport (CVG) as part of one of its hubs. CVG is located between Atlanta and Detroit, and many of its routes are overlapping with the two cities mentioned. In the past few years, the airline has greatly reduced the number of flights in Cincinnati. When airlines merge, it often happens that at least one of its hubs will close. For example, when Continental merged with United in 2012, Cleveland lost its status of a hub. Cleveland is located right between Newark and Chicago (two of United’s hubs), making it inefficient to operate a hub due to its close distance between the two cities.

Boeing 767-300ER of Delta Air Lines

Boeing 767-300ER of Delta Air Lines

International Aviation Management
In my International Aviation Management class, each team was assigned a different topic related to aviation operations in Europe. We have to identify potential markets for Aegean Airlines to develop. The largest airline of Greece faces competition all over Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Our group focused on European ultra low-cost carriers (ULCCs). We are analyzing the markets that are currently not served by large low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, EasyJet, and Vueling. Our goal is to recommend Aegean new destinations to fly to.

Airport Management
Finally, my last project is for my Airport Management class. For this project, our class needs to determine if San Diego International Airport (Lindberg Field) should stay where it is right now or if the airport should be relocated in an area with more space.

Photo: Google Maps

Photo: Google Maps

As you can see from the image above, the airport is very limited in growth due to its geography. There is the interstate at the east of the airport and water and ports surrounding the south and west of the airfield. Further, there are industrial buildings and a small residential neighborhood at the north of San Diego International Airport. The airport also operates with a single runway system which limits the number of flights the airport can handle in a day. The runway length (9,400ft / 2,865m) is a factor that limits the number of international flights. In hot temperatures, aircraft require more runway length to lift off the ground than usual. With a longer runway, the airport could potentially welcome new airlines and offer more destinations to the San Diego residents.

I hope you enjoyed my brief overview of my aviation projects. Have a great week and keep in mind that summer is almost here.

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Flying All Over America – Part 1

Hello!

This past Saturday, I flew over 21 states over the United States in less than 24 hours. I did this long trip with my friend Jack, who is also a student journal writer for Embry-Riddle. What was the purpose of this trip? We wanted to fly together just for fun. We would also accumulate more than 5,000 miles on this long journey.

Here was our planned itinerary: Orlando (MCO) – Atlanta (ATL) – San Francisco (SFO) – Minneapolis (MSP) – Orlando (MCO). In Part 1 of this exciting story, I will cover the flight segments until SFO. The remaining two flights until we land in MCO will be covered in Part 2.

Long flight ahead: ATL to SFO.

Long flight ahead: ATL to SFO.

Our day started very early has we had to drive to catch a 6:00AM flight in Orlando. The first flight to Atlanta was just over an hour from wheels up to touchdown. The thing I like about early morning flights is that you can see the sunrise from above.

When we arrived at the busiest airport of the world, we did not have much time to connect to for our next flight. Fortunately, our arriving flight and our departing flight were in the same concourse, so we did not have to take the Plane Train.

For the transcontinental flight to San Francisco, we were onboard a Boeing 767-300ER with one of Delta’s international configuration featuring lie-flat beds. I wished we got upgraded to the front cabin! We were seated in the first row of Comfort+ at an exit row, so we had plenty of legroom and space to walk around during the duration of the flight.

Delta has a crew base in SFO and uses this aircraft (B767-300ER) for transcontinental flights to New York-JFK and Atlanta.

Delta has a crew base in SFO and uses this aircraft (B767-300ER) for transcontinental flights to New York-JFK and Atlanta.

All the passengers were settled in their seat for an on-time departure when the captain announced a delay due to a problem with the main door. The door could not close and maintenance had to replace a part. The missing part of the door took a long time to arrive at the aircraft and it lead to a delay of about an hour before we got cleared for pushback.

My friend Jack and I are discussing with the flight crew while we were waiting for maintenance to repair a part on the main door.

My friend Jack and I are discussing with the flight crew while we were waiting for maintenance to repair a part on the main door.

In the mean time, we were granted permission by one of the flight attendants to go check out the flight deck. We spent about 45 minute talking with the first officer about aviation. The time went by fast and we returned to our seats because the airplane was ready to leave the gate.

The first officer's notes before the flight.

The first officer’s notes before the flight.

During the flight, we worked on a project for our Airline-Airport Operations class. We had to select an airport or airline and write a report on it. We were actually productive on that flight and did homework! As we approached the state of California, the flight attendants made a trivia to the passengers asking four questions related to the Super Bowl. The folks who got the most right answers would win a bottle of wine (I wished the question would be related on Delta!).

The attendants on our flight to SFO made a trivia with questions related to the Super Bowl. The passengers who got the correct answers got a bottle of wine!

The flight attendants on our flight to SFO made a trivia with questions related to the Super Bowl.

When we booked the trip at the beginning of the semester, we did not know it was during the Super Bowl weekend. At first, we thought the airport in San Francisco would be crowded, but it was not! At least for the time we were there.

Story to follow in Part 2!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

A New Semester Is Taking Off

Hello readers!

We have just started the spring semester and it’s almost February. The first few days of classes are never too busy. The professors usually go over the course syllabus, schedule, exams (oh no!), and other important things relevant to the class. For most of us, after the first week, we start to learn new material and get our first assignments. Winter break is now over and the work load starts to kick-in!

This semester, I am taking 6 classes including an online class. My schedule is very even; I am taking two classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and three classes on the other days.

I start the beginning of each week with International Aviation Management (BA 426). I already had the professor before so I know what to expect in the class and how she teaches. We started to learn some history on aviation worldwide, such as the first airmail routes, aviation during wars, and different international policies.

After my morning class, I go home for a short period of time, and then head back to campus for my last class of the day, Corporate Finance  (BA 332). As I get closer to school, I usually see an American Eagle CRJ 900 land! Like my BA 426 class, I already took the professor for this class. I took Dr. J’s Macroeconomics class during my first semester of college. He is one of my favorite professors I have taken at Embry-Riddle.

The next day is a busier day as I attend three classes in a row. I start with Airport Management (BA 310). During our last class, we took a short field trip to the AMS building close to the flight line. The building offers a great view of the Daytona International Airport. Our assignment consisted of finding different objects on the field. It was an easy assignment!

After that, I have an elective class, Airline-Airport Operations (BA 327). This class is a mix of Airline Management and Airport Management classes. We learn how airlines and airports work with each other in the industry.

My last class on campus is Managerial Accounting (BA 312). It is usually the class students take after Financial Accounting. It is not my favorite class at this time, but maybe it’ll change by the end of the semester, we never know.

The online class I am taking is Organizational Behavior (MGMT 317). There were no more seats available on the class offered on campus, so I decided to take it through the Worldwide campus. I took an online class last summer and it’s pretty much the same format than the class I’m currently taking. During this semester, I’ll write a story to describe the differences between online and regular classes. They both have their ups and downs.

On my next blog, I will go over some interesting events I attended during the winter break. Hope everyone has a great week!

Nicolas

Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Halfway There

We are right in the middle of the semester! As much as I love school, I’m about ready for the summer! It’ll be nice to go back to working full time and to spend time with friends and family.photo45

As you probably expect, things have been quite busy lately. I’ve had tests in all of my classes this week or will next week, and so far, everything has gone well. Sometimes these weeks can be difficult, but if one uses their time wisely and doesn’t wait to study the night before, things will go well.

11021179_666729526786671_6766866887056457704_n

The front entrance into The Lodge at JetBlue University

I’ve also been adjusting to my new job in Career Services. The more time I spend there, the more I learn about the department, and when you come to campus, it is one department that I highly recommend you start building a relationship with. The advisors as well as the office have so many resources, advice, and experience to provide, and it’ll definitely come in handy when applying for internships.

11026097_666729603453330_6561649636543243251_n

Jack Harty and former JetBlue CEO David Barger

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to go to the grand opening of The Lodge as JetBlue’s Orlando Support Center (where they conduct training and orientation for more than 7,000 people every year). The Lodge is a hotel for the employees that come to Orlando for long periods of time in the middle of training. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the employees at JetBlue!

Now, I’m off to Aruba on Friday to fly on Southwest’s first international flight into Houston Hobby Airport. There will definitely be a full report coming soon! (It’s quite fun to still work as a journalist part time :) ).

Blue skies,

Jack

The College Work Load

For incoming freshman/first year students, college can sound very scary, but honestly, it really depends what one associates college with.

Before I left home, everyone told me that college will be some of the best years of my life, but all I could think about was that I would be spending hours upon hours doing homework, reading, and studying for tests, quizzes, and essays.books

However, I have now realized that I was scared for no reason…yes, I actually have homework, and yes mom, if you are reading this, I do study.

For me, I have been able to accomplish almost all of my homework, studying, and writing essays between 8AM and 6PM on weekdays; this works great for me because it feels like a full time job versus school. After 6PM (the majority of the time), I have my homework and studying done for the day which allows for plenty of time to nap, read, hang out with friends, and explore Daytona Beach.

Please know that the work load depends upon your major, teachers, and the classes you take, and as the semester ends, the work load can increase a lot. However, if one keeps up with everything, the workload is manageable.

Some tips for success:

  • Try not to get behind, but if you do, be sure that you communicate with your professor and work hard to catch up.
  • Don’t procrastinate!
  • Try to complete homework as soon as its assigned.
  • Don’t start studying for a test the night before.
  • Lastly, don’t stress too much! Make sure that you enjoy some downtime.

Overall, I have been pretty happy with the assignments I have had to do for my classes as I actually see how I will be able to apply what I learn in a future internship and job. In high school, I frequently would ask myself “when am I actually going to use this,” but now in college, I ask this question very rarely.

My professors have done an excellent job connecting the curriculum to the real world. For example, I remember asking myself if I will ever use Calculus after college, my professor explained and demonstrated how we can and will use Calculus to solve supply/demand situations.

Meanwhile, we had to create several graphs comparing two airlines based on several different measurements (number of flights, passengers, available seat miles, profit/loss, etc.). As soon as my professor started explaining the assignment, I immediately realized that I will be able apply this skill to my internship at Airways News this summer.

I guess it’s safe to say that I look forward to attending class–even though my day starts at 8AM everyday–since I see when I’ll actually be able to apply what I learn.

Until next time,

Jack

The Second Semester Begins!

Hello there!

It’s safe to say that my first semester at Embry-Riddle flew by as I cannot believe that it’s already the third week of the second semester!photo

I’m very happy to report that my first semester was a huge success on many different levels. I made a lot of new friends, interviewed for a few internships, finished the semester with terrific grades, joined two clubs on-campus (NBAA and Airport Management Club) and got very involved in the College of Business.

Winter Break

After finals, it was great to go back home to Houston, Texas for a few weeks for some R&R, to spend time with friends and family, and work a little. 9497_632518200207804_6688877303027923437_n 10646980_632517903541167_2664216326904276421_n

At the end of December, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to write about and attend the AirTran Airways farewell ceremony as I work as a journalist for AirwaysNews.com and Airways Magazine. Attending the farewell celebration is one of the most unique experiences and stories that I’ve gotten to report as a journalist. It reminded me why I am so passionate about airlines, and why I hope to join the industry soon.

What fascinates me the most is how thousands of people come together at an airline to get hundreds of thousands of people from point A to point B 24/7/365. As I flew to Atlanta the morning of the final flight, I began to wonder how many passengers AirTran has carried since starting out as ValuJet in 1993. Regardless of the number, we can certainly say they brought millions together for birthdays, weddings, family vacations, business meetings, holidays, and many other occasions. Thanks to AirTran and ValuJet employees, they helped make it possible.10670056_599294093530215_28090309397519307_n

My Second Semester Begins

Now, I’m in the middle of the third week of the Spring Semester, and I can already tell that it will be another great semester!

However, I do have a full load between Airline Management, Humanities: Introduction to Literature, Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods II, Advanced Computer Based Systems, a part-time job in the College of Business, being a member of the College of Business Student Advisory Board, and exploring Daytona Beach as well as the Sunshine State.

Stay tuned as the adventure continues!

 

Summer Life – Delta Air Lines Internship

 

Delta World Headquarters

Hey all!  I hope everyone is having a great summer as we fly into the month of June.  My month of May was quite eventful; I wrapped up finals at the beginning of the month and then headed up to start my summer internship at Delta on May 12th.  I’m working with the great folks in the Network Planning department where a large group of individuals plan where and how we are going to fly all of the routes that are out for sale to the public.  The process isn’t as easy as saying you’re flying from point A to B at this time, it is a very choreographed process with tons of steps between deciding when and where to fly and how they are actually going to do it.

Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.
Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.

My internship started off very quickly as I quickly became acclimated with our scheduling software, Sabre AirVision.  The product is very easy to use and not only contains the flight schedule that we are working with, but it also generates reports on things such as flights that may have the same number as another (duplicates, which you cannot have on the same day) and hours that airplane types and crews will fly (we only have so many airplanes and pilots and crews are restricted by the FAA on how many hours they can fly in a day).  I cannot imagine scheduling flights without a product such as this one.

Network PlanningPutting together the schedule is quite a challenge because of dozens of things that the normal traveler doesn’t see.  Things such as performing overnight maintenance on our fleet and keeping the number of flights coming into and out of a hub within max limitations is a very hard task due to the number of flights that we are trying to fly in a day.  The Delta system is based around a hub-and-spoke style layout and every hub has special characteristics that the folks in Network Planning have to keep in mind.  No one flying on an airline likes delayed or cancelled flights and it is our job to make sure that every flight gets off the ground as planned, on-time through major planning months before the day of the flight.

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must!  I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must! I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

One great perk of interning at Delta is the flight benefit package.  A normal intern has the opportunity to non-rev, or fly anywhere in the world for minimal or no cost at all as long as there is an open seat in the cabin, aka a non-revenue generating seat and passenger for the airline.  So far I have worked at Delta for three weeks and have gone home to Indiana twice and to New York City, Myrtle Beach, and Daytona Beach all once.  Being an airline intern definitely has its perks other than gaining awesome experience behind the scenes.  I cannot wait to use my non-rev benefits to travel around the world!

6Delta World Headquarters, known as the G.O. by employees, is an awesome place to work and I am extremely honored to have been chosen to work for and represent such a well respected and successful entity.  Stay tuned for blogs in the coming weeks and months from here in Atlanta!

 

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

The Future of General Aviation

My 1955 Apache with my Dad’s 1950 Pacer. Airplanes like these are mainstays in the general aviation category.

Some of you might be wondering why I’m righting a blog about the future of general aviation because these blogs are supposed to be related to student life at Embry-Riddle.  But, what about life after Embry-Riddle?  I plan to stay in general aviation as a career and I am a huge general aviation proponent and believe it is a vital component to the transportation system around the globe.  It is a pure form of time travel, and when someone is lacking a bit of time and needs to get from Point A to Point B more efficiently, regularly, general aviation is a the go-to to provide that service.

The GA industry has sure evolved since its major inception just after the Second World War, and it is still evolving today.  Just like its big brother, the airline industry, competition across the GA market on the big scale has decreased, but it is still extremely strong today.  One reason it is so strong is because of the advent of growth in the experimental aircraft category, which continues to pave the way for new, feasible aviation technologies.  Parts being non-certified doesn’t always mean bad things, unlike their general connotations.  Non-certified parts are generally cheaper and of the same quality as their certified counterparts, and sometimes they’re identical to the same, more expensive piece!

Consumer electronics are another revolutionary in the aviation industry as well.  The onset of the true Electronic Flight Bag age is here, and that was all because of the iPad.  No longer are the days of purchasing new charts every 56 days, just click “download” in ForeFlight and updated charts are at your finger tips.  Cell phones are also being used for the same application, and that sector is only going to grow like the size of their new screens.  One other consumer electronic device has revitalized flying, and that is the GoPro.  Capturing everything aviation, the fish-eyed GoPro is making waves and bringing new people to the industry, young and old.  Inflight wifi is also the next big thing that is coming to light airplanes, and hopefully soon.  Costs are going down on that technology as developments are being made.  I really think that will spark new interest in the common man with new found connectivity while on the go.

With all of these positives, there has to be a negative, and that comes in the sense of rapidly growing costs.  No longer are the days of ads with $5000 airplanes, now $500,000 gets you a nice traveling machine.  Fuel costs and associated airport fees are also skyrocketing which is only driving down the activity in and around general aviation.

Back to when General Aviation was growing rapidly. Piper offered to teach you to fly for free if you bought your own Piper J3 Cub.

I wrote this because I truly care about general aviation.  I grew up around it and always aspired of owning a company in this industry sector because of all of the great things that come from it.  True innovation happens here, and the gift of flight is given to so many here as well.  I cannot wait to see what the future brings to general aviation!

Happy flying,

Kyle