Innovations in Aviation and Aeronautics
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Innovations in Aviation and Aeronautics

The aviation industry across the globe is booming, meaning more jobs and a higher demand for highly-skilled aviation graduates.

This is especially true in Asia, where plans are in place to build the aerospace industries into the future with an investment of a quarter of a trillion dollars. China alone is home to more than two-thirds of the airports around the world that are currently under construction; the country is developing its domestic airline competitors to dominate the 21st century aviation industry.


Pic: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

This year, traffic from Chinese airlines has certainly been impressive, with a 13 percent overall growth and a passenger figure that surpassed 100 million. Domestic growth remained at a strong 11 percent, and compared to figures from Q1 2014, Chinese airlines in Q1 2015 carried an additional 9 million domestic passengers– equivalent to an additional 656,737 flights a day.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Asia-Pacific airlines now account for 31 per cent of global air passenger traffic, a figure they predict could increase to 42 per cent over the next 20 years.

Greg Waldron, FlightGlobal’s Asia managing editor, told The Wall Street Journal: “Every week you hear [an airline] announcing a new simulator or buying up a training school…but they can never really have enough pilots because you have so many aircraft coming in.”

According to the website, airlines in Asia currently account for 50 per cent of around 330 pilot recruitment postings on the FlightGlobal career pages.

With an ever-increasing supply of airplanes in an industry that is taking the world by storm, the demand for skilled graduates of aviation and aeronautics is not likely to slow. Not only is Asia home to fastest-growing aerospace business in the world; it also boasts some of the best and most respected institutions dedicated to the science of flight.

In order to work in many of the fields of aviation, aeronautics and aerospace science, candidates will need a Bachelor’s degree, and many career paths even require a degree at a Master’s or Doctorate level.

The aviation industry can be summed up as the design, development, production, operation, maintenance and use of aircraft. Delving into the aviation industry through comprehensive study of the business can offer many exciting career directions:


Students in the classroom. Pic: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Aviation Manager

The aviation manager oversees the general operations, as well as the hiring and management, of airport or department staff. They must ensure that regulations are adhered to and that all maintenance, safety and scheduling operations are satisfactorily executed. The role requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in an area of speciality, plus several years of experience in the field or related area.

Annual salary varies according to a number of factors, including industry, company size, location, years of experience and level of education. However, the median expected annual pay for an Aviation Manager in the US is $159,851.

Other Aviation careers include:

Airline Pilot or Co-Pilot: in the past, most airline pilots received their training in the military, but in recent years a college degree and training from an FAA-certified flight training school has become much more common.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 34 percent of commercial pilots use their time in the air to dust crops, test planes, monitor traffic, fight fires and perform other non-typical functions.

Median Annual Salary: US$117,000

Air Traffic Controller: the primary concern of someone in this role is safety as they efficiently direct aircraft and minimize delays. This is a well-paid role that requires discipline and mental focus.

Median Annual Salary: US$62,500


Engineering the future of Aviation and Aeronautics. Pic: Air New Zealand Aviation Institute

Aeronautics Career Options

Aeronautics can simply be described as the science of flight; from initially designing the plane to eventually manufacturing, operating and maintaining it. Not surprisingly, it’s a path that can lead to exciting and well-paid career opportunities:

Aeronautical Engineer

The role of the Aeronautical Engineer is to design, test and oversee the production of airplanes, helicopters, rockets and other types of airborne craft. Some even develop complex technologies for submarines, hydrofoils, high-speed trains and wind turbines. Graduates find employment with airplane and aerospace manufacturers, national laboratories and government agencies.

Again, the annual salary for an engineer depends on many factors, but according to the BLS, there were 69,080 aeronautical engineers in the US, making an average salary of $105,380. The organisation also projects 7 percent job growth between now and 2022.

Aircraft Mechanic

Aircraft mechanics are responsible for the safety and success of every flight that leaves the ground, and are therefore also responsible for everyone on board. Duties typically include replacing and repairing aircraft parts, diagnosing mechanical and electrical problems, as well as testing and meeting flight performance standards.

According to the BLS Occupational and Employment Wages webpage, in 2012, the top 10 percent of Aircraft Mechanics earned more than US$76,660 a year.

These are just a selection of some of the careers available to students of Aviation and Aeronautics, but in reality the possibilities for graduates within this booming industry are increasing all the time. Students with an interest in the field can truly find the world at their fingertips, and their dream career on the horizon, when they have the right training behind them. A good quality education from a respected and experienced institution can help any dedicated student find their feet… or perhaps we should say ‘wings’!

Read on to learn more about some of the best Aviation & Aeronautical institutions across the globe…


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teaches the science, practice, and business behind the world of aviation and aerospace. Since it was founded just 22 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight, the University and its graduates have built an enviable record of achievement in every aspect of aviation and aerospace. The curriculum at Embry-Riddle covers the operation, engineering, research, manufacturing, marketing and management of modern aircraft and the systems that support them. Backed by the prestige of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University USA, the world’s oldest and largest university specialising in aviation and aerospace, Embry-Riddle Asia provides students with the high quality education they would receive at the United States campus. Read full profile…


Massey University’s School of Aviation offers professional and academic degrees, and undertakes research that enhances aviation knowledge. The School works closely with airlines to ensure that its programmes and research meet industry needs. If you have a passion for aviation, Massey University has a qualification to help you join this fast-paced, exciting industry. Massey is the only place in New Zealand where you can turn your passion for aviation into a tertiary qualification. Whether you would like to become a pilot, are interested in a career in aviation management, or wish to move up the hierarchy in your aviation career, Massey has a qualification suitable for you.


At Griffith University’s Aviation School, you will be equipped with the skills needed for lifelong learning in the evolving aviation environment, and introduced to the sciences underpinning the theory and practice of aviation. You’ll also study courses in areas such as aviation management, navigation and planning. Specialised knowledge and focus, combined with technical skills, equips graduates with insights on emerging issues and innovative solutions. The School is home to Australia’s most highly recognised Aviation program. The School’s industry advisory board serves as a guide to strengthen links with industry, and to gain insights to new trends in the market.


The Air New Zealand Aviation Institute has campuses in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand, its customers are 11,000 Air New Zealanders, the staff of airlines, militaries and MRO’s from Asia, Oceania and the Middle East, and individuals globally wishing to up skill or enter the aviation industry. Its domestic and international customers are able to access the full spectrum of training programmes the Institute provides to Air New Zealand and benefit from the operational industry experience embedded into those programmes. The Aviation Institute has 5 schools, 135 dedicated training staff, and 47,000 student enrolments in the last year.


UTIAS is a graduate studies and research institute, forming part of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto . The continuing involvement of the University of Toronto in the aerospace sciences since World War I eventually led to the establishment of this institute in 1949. Originally called the Institute of Aerophysics, it is now known as the Institute for Aerospace Studies. In addition to its responsibilities as the Graduate Department of Aerospace Science and Engineering, Institute staff provide undergraduate teaching in aerospace studies through the Aerospace Option of the Engineering Science program.