Swinburne aviation partnership takes off at EF

For over a decade now Swinburne University of Technology have partnered with Essendon Fields, providing aviation students an opportunity to experience first-hand some insight into the operations, construction and maintenance of an airport.

Phil McConnell, from Swinburne University, says the site visits are extremely helpful for the students’ understanding of airport planning and operation.

“Our relationship with Essendon started originally with a past CEO visiting Swinburne to deliver an industry lecture to the students. This has been followed up in recent years by organised visits to allow the students to see the ‘nitty gritty’ of airside operations and understand the challenges of running a complex operating environment,’’ he said.

Up to 30 Swinburne aviation students have made two separate visits to the airport so far in 2022, with tenants like the Police Air Wing, Cobham Aviation Services who operate two Bombardier Challengers on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Sharp Airlines and Melbourne Helicopters opening their doors to guide them through their operations.

“A key unit taught in our Bachelor of Aviation is focussed on Airport Planning and Operations, and it is essential that students are given the opportunity to gain industry knowledge from senior industry managers and also hands-on experience of what it’s like to work in an operational airport environment,” said Phil.

“During our visits to Essendon Fields we have found the experience and professionalism of the airport operational staff to be superb, and our students have learned so much information that will be of value to them in the future. It was also fantastic to see that many of our students chose to attend the recent Essendon Airport centenary celebrations, with some even taking part as volunteers on the day.’’

Matthew Marais, Compliance Manager for Essendon Fields, is delighted with the progress of the partnership with Swinburne Aviation.

“As a past Swinburne University aviation student myself, Essendon Fields is a great environment for future aviation leaders to visit and experience firsthand our commitment to safety and supporting general aviation whilst celebrating our 100-year history. We thank all our tenants who have to date taken part in the site visit by students, and look forward to working with them more for future visits.”

Swinburne boast a proud history of being the first university in Victoria to teach aviation, which it has done since 1992.  Swinburne aviation graduates can now be spotted in senior management and piloting positions with airlines and airports, not only in Australia but around the world.

“Here’s to a partnership between Essendon Fields and Swinburne University that will only continue to grow in the future,” finished Mr Marais.