Wings Magazine

Great aviation career options showcased at NBAA2014

Oct. 24, 2014, Orlando, Fla. - Careers in aviation can range from pilot or air traffic controller, to aviation attorney or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) engineer, a room full of high school and college students learned at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2014).

October 24, 2014  By Carey Fredericks

At a packed session on Careers in Business Aviation, students watched videos, heard from a variety of industry speakers and then were taken on tours of the convention exhibit hall, with its thousands of business-aviation related products and services on display. “The one central thing is, do what you love to do,” said Steve Brown, chief operating officer of NBAA. “You will probably work about 44 years, or about 12,000 days. People in this industry don’t count the days – they have passion for what they do.”

Amelia Rose Earhart, a pilot, former traffic and weather reporter and now head of the Fly With Amelia Foundation, encouraged the students to think big and ask questions of people in the industry. “Don’t be nervous and don’t be shy,” she said. “You have so many opportunities in all facets of aviation.”

Earhart recently flew a Pilatus PC-12 NG single-engine turboprop around the world. In her presentation to the students, Earhart showed inspiring photos from her global flight and discussed the preparation necessary for such a complicated endeavor. Earhart, who wants to share her “deep passion” for aviation, established her foundation to award flight-training scholarships to young women, ages 16 to 18, and to foster aviation and aerospace opportunities for people of all ages through aviation-based educational curriculum.

Career opportunities in the up-and-coming field of UAS, was the topic discussed by Brad Hayden of Robotic Skies. Hayden described the various kinds of UAS that currently exist and their role in the aviation industry.


“I can guarantee that as a future aviation professional, you will be flying, operating, managing and maintaining robotic aircraft,” said Hayden. Hayden showed the students videos of UAS that demonstrated some of their current uses, including mapping, agricultural assessments and cooling tower inspections. Future uses of the aircraft are innumerable, and that is what makes the technology so exciting, according to Hayden.

“As the next generation of pilots and engineers and developers, you will have the opportunity dream about and build” UAS systems, said Hayden.

Air traffic control is another career track with many opportunities, the students were told by Trish Gilbert, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Although the job can be very stressful and has a rigorous training component, the rewards can be great. “Being an air traffic controller is very challenging and gratifying,” said Gilbert, noting that the FAA plans to hire 1,000 controllers per year for the next 10 years.

According to Gilbert, the job is also well compensated, a fact that the room full of future aviation professionals duly noted.


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