Swinburne aviation students soak up the experience at EF

Students studying Airport Planning, Operations and Management at Swinburne University of Technology made another visit to Essendon Fields this month to further enhance a partnership between the University and the airport which has extended for more than a decade.

Essendon Fields’ GM Aviation, Matt Marais, said the site visit, which included a comprehensive airport tour and the chance to chat directly with aviation operators, pilots and airport management, offered the students a valuable and practical insight into airport operations.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Swinburne University students for site visits at Essendon Fields. As potential future leaders in aviation, our airport provides an ideal setting. Here, a variety of operators showcase diverse management practices, fostering an open and welcoming environment,” Mr Marais said.

“These students are destined to become the next generation of airport professionals, pilots, managers, or operators, and we aspire to see them contribute to the future of aviation,’’ he said.

One of the highlights of the tour was a presentation by John Nahyna, Essendon Fields’ Aviation Operations Manager, who provided a comprehensive briefing of the essential safety and operational aspects of the Airport.

“It was a delight to meet so many engaged and diligent students to discuss the different aspects of safe day-to-day airfield management. We covered everything from pavements works, airspace protection and the importance of managing airside access, including the operation of vehicles in the airside environment,’’ John said.

The students then had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of Alistair Dorward, CEO of Sharp Airlines. Alistair offered an important glimpse into the world of regional airlines, and the vital connections they provide to communities.

“It’s important that we meet with aviation students and educate them on the career opportunities available through regional airlines, which are the lifeblood of aviation services outside of Australia’s capital cities. Sharp Airlines is a strong and dynamic company and always looking for talented young people to join the ranks,’’ said Mr Dorward.

Paul McLaughlin, Base Manager for Leidos Australia, also gave students the opportunity to gain valuable insights into their operations at Essendon Fields. Leidos Australia, which operates critical search and rescue services for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) from its Essendon Fields base, had their Bombardier Challenger 604 jet aircraft on site for the tour.

“There’s nothing better than if you’re studying aviation to get up close and personal with aircraft and to understand all their safety and flying capabilities. It was a great visit by the Swinburne students, and we look forward to seeing how their careers progress in the years to come,’’ Paul said.

Due to high interest, a second visit was also held on the weekend. Students were able to visit Leidos Australia once again, alongside receiving a special behind the scenes tour of the Victoria Police Air Wing, and seeing our Wildlife Hazard Management Plan in action with Kire from our Airport Operations team on the stock whip.

Read more on the partnership between Essendon Fields Airport and Swinburne University of Technology here.