Auburn University aviation school aims to help fill industry worker shortages

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Airlines continue to have trouble with getting and keeping employees nationwide, forcing cancellations and delays due to shortages.

Auburn University’s school of aviation hopes to remedy the lack of airline workers, as over 600 students are currently enrolled in programs for professional flight and aviation management.

Aviation school instructor and Auburn Regional Airport Director Bill Hutto said the lack of workers on airlines impacts the economy.

“Shortage of workers can be seen in a couple of different ways,” Hutto said, “One is canceled flights, delayed flights, or in the rising cost as well because it creates a supply and demand where you have a shortage of the supply which be in the seats, which then raises the cost.”

Hutto added the aviation program is designed to get students ready so they can fill those spots to address the issue.

“We want to instill in them a passion for what they do,” he said, “The ability to be creative, the ability to think out of the box.”

Auburn University’s school of aviation has partnerships with several airlines, including JetBlue, Delta, United Airlines and Envoy, with “more to come” in the future.

Auburn senior Blake Adkins said seeing the shortage has shaped his perspective on the aviation industry.

“It’s really exciting to see the way that it moves and the way that it really connects the world,” Adkins said, “Not only does it bring people together, but in times of need, especially during the COVID pandemic, seeing necessary items being shipped to the place that need to go.”

Adkin believes the airline worker issues have created an opportunity for him and his peers to go forth and pursue these jobs right out of college.

The program claims over 4,000 alumni.

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