Professor Brings Real World to Summer Course on Airport Planning

Posted: July 2, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Saleh Mumayiz’ main goal in teaching Airport Planning this summer is to share with his students practical examples and state-of-the-practice resources not typically addressed in the classroom. The course is part of a series on issues related to Sept. 11 and is offered as both a systems engineering and civil, environmental, and infrastructure engineering class.

To make the course come alive for students, Mumayiz draws on his expertise in the worlds of consulting, research, government, and academia. He is currently working on a consulting team assisting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in developing a long-term plan for modernizing the national airspace system, and he previously spent six years on a study to plan a third airport in the Chicago area. He also has taught short continuing education courses on airport planning at several universities.

“I’m presenting material adapted through years of feedback from practitioners and researchers in this field, real-world practical experience from actual studies and recent advancements, and experience from my short course involvement,” Mumayiz says. “The instructional material I prepared and provided to every student on a CD-ROM includes course lectures and references such as papers, reports, planning documents, and news articles.”

The ambitious syllabus focuses on the airport as the primary infrastructure of the air transportation system and covers everything from the evolution of aviation to airport planning design concepts. Students also will examine airport security and its significance since Sept. 11. Mumayiz plans to show the class a taped panel discussion he organized and moderated last January at a meeting of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, of which he is a member. Aired live on C-SPAN, the discussion centered on aviation security and featured high-level representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the FAA, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, as well as leading experts in airport architecture and security.

“Year after year, we are witnessing an evolution toward a higher technology level in the air transportation system,” Mumayiz says. “We need professional experts to get into this now, and I think universities like George Mason will be the leaders in training those experts.”

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