The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently selected winners for its sixth annual Design Competition for Universities. Top honors in Airport Management and Planning went to a student team from The Ohio State University Center of Aviation Studies. The team proposes a tool, Terminal Buddy, a digital terminal inspection checklist, dispatch, and data analysis application for use on mobile tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad, that allows for any terminal discrepancies to be documented, mapped, and sent to a centralized dispatching station to be recorded, tracked, and efficiently managed. The research conducted for Terminal Buddy was performed by a team of students at The Ohio State University; Victoria Haky, a senior majoring in aviation, Stephen McGirr, a senior, majoring in aviation, and Guy Jacks, a senior (graduated Winter 2012) majoring in computer science. The faculty advisor for this project was Dr. Seth Young, Associate Professor in The Ohio State University Department of Aviation. Other universities winning top honors are: Stevens Institute of Technology, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and Binghamton University – State University of New York.
The competition seeks to engage students at U.S. colleges and universities in addressing issues facing airports while providing quality educational experiences and exposure to aviation and airport-related careers. Students were invited to propose in four technical challenge areas: airport operations and maintenance; runway safety; airport environmental interactions; and airport management and planning. The competition requires that students work with a faculty advisor and that they reach out to airport operators and to industry experts to obtain advice and to assess the efficacy of their proposed designs/solutions.
This competition is managed for the FAA by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium based in Hampton, VA. Partnering organizations that assist in developing competition guidelines, provide expert advisors for teams, assist in dissemination of this competition opportunity to organizational members, and participate in design reviews are: American Association of Airport Executives; the Airport Consultants Council (ACC); Airports Council International – North America; National Association of State Aviation Officials; and the University Aviation Association.
Panels of FAA, industry and academic experts selected the winning proposals. Students from winning teams equally divide prizes of $2500 for first place, $1500 for second place, $1000 for third place, and $500 for an honorable mention. First place teams receive their awards from the FAA and present their work at the ACC/FAA/TSA Summer Series Workshop in Arlington, VA, July 18 – 19. They also present at one other professional meeting during the academic year. Promising designs may also receive FAA funding to take their concepts to the next stage of development.
Copies of designs receiving first, second or third place awards are available at the Competition website: http://FAADesignCompetition.odu.edu.