Airport Planning and Operations
Sustainable Air Transport Operations and Planning
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
In a nutshell
The COVID-19 pandemic has left aviation facing unprecedented challenges, not least the need to develop more sustainable practices in the recovery. Prepare for a career where you can lead this change with our new Sustainable Air Transport Operations and Planning postgraduate degree.
Delivered by an expert academic teaching team, our course combines interdisciplinary modules designed to nurture your practical and analytical skillset. We're excited to be the first UK course delivered in partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) - a world leader in aviation education.
The course is recommended for graduates and professionals looking for career opportunities in aviation operations and planning. Available with full and part-time study routes, the course draws on strong industry partnerships and our close proximity to two UK international airports.
- Build analytical skills and practical techniques needed to identify challenges and find solutions to facilitate sustainable growth of air transport based on environmental, economic and social pillars
- Improve your skills in research, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and time management
- Benefit from expert teaching staff with extensive experience and connections within the aviation industry
This is for you if...
you are a recent graduate considering a future career in air transport
you are an industry professional looking to enhance your existing skills for career progression or diversification
you are interested in learning more about air transport sustainability for research or consultancy purposes
All about the course
The Sustainable Air Transport Operations and Planning postgraduate degree at Salford is designed to help graduates and professionals to build relevant environmental, economic, and societal knowledge and skills for career roles in aviation operations and planning.
The course is delivered through a range of industry-focused modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises six taught modules, plus a dissertation. The 120-credit PgDip comprises six taught modules.
Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study this postgraduate course on campus over one year full-time, or up to three years part-time:
- You will study six credit-bearing modules, including an optional choice delivered by our strategic partner and world leader in aviation education Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).
- For the full 180-credit MSc award, you will also complete a 60-credit dissertation project module based on a topic of your choice.
The course explores sustainable air transport operations and planning from a broad perspective of economic and societal challenges and opportunities. We regularly review module content with our partners to ensure your acquired knowledge and skillset continues to reflect trends and industry needs.
Current course topics include airline/airport operations and planning, the future of urban air mobility, cyber security and environmental challenges, such as reduction of emissions and noise. ERAU-delivered modules provide an opportunity to tailor your learning based on interests or career aspirations.
Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.
This module covers a broad range of areas of sustainable airport operations and planning, including:
- airport capacity
- land-use planning
- airport biodiversity preservation
- wildlife hazard management
- airport ground access
- airport terminal design and operations
- baggage handling
- airport safety and security
- airport water and waste management
- aerodrome design
- ground support equipment
- ramp handling operations
- extreme weather operations and disruption management
- airport emergency planning, rescue and firefighting operations
- airport crisis management
- airport economic and social sustainability.
Throughout the module, you will identify problems and find solutions to ensure sustainable airport operations and planning based on economic, social and environmental contexts.
Airline Planning and The Future of Urban Air Mobility
This module examines different components of sustainable airline planning, including:
- passenger and cargo demand forecasting
- route network planning and optimisation
- aircraft fleet planning
- inflight health and wellbeing
- sustainable aviation fuels
- airline scheduling
- airline pricing and revenue management
- distribution channels, airline alliances, and business models
- community engagement
- safety and security
- social perception
- environmental impact of drones and flying taxis
Throughout the module, you will identify problems in airline planning and urban air mobility and seek solutions.
This module covers different areas of sustainable airline operations, such as flight operations, passenger identification, passenger and baggage check-in and boarding procedures, cargo operations, catering, unruly passenger prevention, customer service, crisis operations, humanitarian and disaster assistance.
Environmental Impact Assessment
This module examines and evaluates processes for investigating and mitigating the impacts of development in the context of environmental impact assessment and planning procedures.
You will explore impact assessment policy, law and practice through case study research and practical applications in the field. You will have the opportunity to interact with environmental impact assessment professionals in developing and presenting a case study.
Environmental Noise Assessment
In this module, you will study the standards for environmental noise measurement in the context of realistic scenarios, and will then perform them yourself as fieldwork. The module content will help you learn how to make assessments of environmental noise, including:
- identifying and interpreting the requirements of appropriate local, national and international legislation relevant to noise assessment
- carrying out reliable measurements of environmental noise
- critical evaluation of acoustical data (including partial data) needed for noise assessment
Plus, choose one 15-credit module from the following options delivered online by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide (ERAU):
Aviation/Aerospace Safety Program Management
This module covers the essential skills and methodology needed to plan and manage an effective aviation safety program. Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles of risk management, and the principles, tools, and techniques used in a Safety Management System. You will study methods to achieve enhanced safety, moving beyond mere compliance with regulatory requirements.
Topics in Aviation Cybersecurity
This module will describe the cyber threat landscape and apply the lessons of cyber defense to many actors within the aviation industry, including airlines, airplanes, airports, cargo and other vendors, unmanned systems, and more. Topics covered include cyber threats to all aspects of the industry, including communications, navigation, supply chain, and airports.
Frameworks and best practices being devised to protect assets from the cyber-attack vector, as well as vulnerabilities, protection, and countermeasures, will also be examined. You will also explore the current research literature concerning cybersecurity and information assurance as it impacts the greater aviation industry.
Concepts and Practices of Project Management
This module provides you an appreciation for the depth and breadth of the project management profession. This module will address the complete project model including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing. Emphasis will be placed on gaining knowledge of common terminology, principles, techniques and tools that are found global standards for project management.
The module examines the review, design, planning, analysis and statistical interpretation of data to support research studies and industrial applications. You will build on statistical theory and learn advanced techniques that can be applied to problem-solving, research analysis and numerical interpretation of data.
During the module, you will learn to identify parametric and non-parametric statistics, develop correlation methods for linear and nonlinear data, and statistical significance testing between samples and within samples. You will undertake projects using computer programs for data that is derived or given.
Fire Safety Management
This module is designed to teach the essentials of fire protection and prevention in the context of safety, health and environmental management. This module will provide an introduction to fire behavior and combustion to include fire chemistry, fire dynamics, and concepts related to the development and spread of fire.
This module will also address fire prevention methods, fire detection systems, and fire protection including control systems, fire suppression, and extinguishment. The development of fire safety programs will be also addressed, along with emergency action plans and response.
Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response
This module is designed to increase your knowledge of disaster preparedness and emergency response procedures, safety and health hazards and controls, and enforcement issues.
Topics covered include elements of an emergency response plan, training requirements, the incident command system, medical surveillance, and post-emergency recovery. Major elements involved in disasters and emergencies, systems use, and attention to essential human services are also examined.
This module discusses major topics in meteorology with an emphasis on aviation weather hazards, such as atmospheric structure and circulation, atmospheric kinematics and thermodynamics, mid-latitude and tropical cyclones, convective and non-convective weather features, local wind phenomena, and fundamental concepts in weather analysis and forecasting.
During the module, you will also be introduced to the use of numerical weather prediction products in weather forecasting. Assignments and projects will focus on conducting basic atmospheric analysis and forecasting using internet-based weather data and forecasting products, and will provide you with practical experience in making informed weather-sensitive decisions.
Global Air Traffic Control and Management
This module is designed to examine the management concepts related to technology, collaboration, and innovation in Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Air Traffic Management (ATM). Topics covered include Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP), governance restrictions, regulatory capabilities, ATM systems, sustainable infrastructure, and environmental impacts.
You will analyse implications on managers of ongoing air navigation improvement programs of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Member States (SESAR in Europe; NextGen in the United States; CARATS in Japan; SIRIUS in Brazil, and others in Canada, China, India, Asia, Pacific, Africa and The Russian Federation).
The dissertation is a research project, which must focus on an air transport topic. It is an opportunity to choose a subject of interest and explore it in detail, including a review of relevant literature, methodological planning, data collection, analysis, presentation of results, evaluation and discussion of these results.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
You will benefit from a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to air transport industry journals, news sources, online databases, and simulation software.
The course utilises a range of learning methods, including:
- Online platforms
- Field trips
Please note, all elective modules led by ERAU are delivered using their interactive online learning platform.
The assessment format for each module is based on the learning outcomes, but the typical methods include:
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
Our collaborative, multidisciplinary courses will shape the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants, and conservationists. Delivered by a dedicated team of over 200 academic, technical, and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive environment where you can realise your potential.
What about after uni?
Aviation is one of the world's leading industries - and growing. Air transport is a major component projected to experience further increases, with air passengers numbers also predicted to double by 2036. Amidst the global commitments to tackling climate change, the industry is expected to need more professionals aware of sustainability-focused issues to help navigate this growth.
A postgraduate qualification in Sustainable Air Transport Operations and Planning will enable you to pursue a range of career paths working with major airports, airlines, air transport regulatory bodies and professional bodies, and air transport consultancies. The knowledge and skills you'll develop will give you greater awareness of challenges and opportunities facing the aviation industry. Due to the unique focus on sustainability, you'll also gain the confidence to facilitate and advocate approaches that can help you stand out in competitive job markets.
Some graduates choose to continue their subject interest with postgraduate research. Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available through our Doctoral School.
The Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC) is home to our world-class research focused on the advancement of engineering, robotics and technology, for societal progress and economic growth.
MSc Sustainable Air Transport Operations and Planning has been specifically developed to meet the needs of employers that face significant sustainability challenges.
In developing the course, the team consulted with senior managers from leading UK airports (Manchester Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, London Luton Airport, Gatwick Airport, London Stansted Airport, Aberdeen Airport and Doncaster Sheffield Airport), major airlines (British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, EasyJet and Jet2), UK and international aviation authorities and organisations (NATS, Eurocontrol and The International Civil Aviation Organization) and regional branches of the Royal Aeronautical Society (Manchester Branch), to ensure that the course content and learning outcomes meets employer and industry needs.
What you need to know
The course is recommended for ambitious graduates and experienced professionals with strong analytical skills and a passion for the aviation industry. Ideally, you will be looking to enhance your existing knowledge and skills, with a view to working in air transport operations and planning in the near future.
English language requirements
International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.
- At minimum 2:2 honors degree from a UK university (or international equivalent) in engineering, economics, tourism, business, management, or a related subject.
- Applicant with relevant industrial experience will also be considered on an individual basis.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£9,180per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£15,030per year|
|Part-time||2021/22||£1,530 per 30 credits|
Costs associated with field trips that are part of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Noise Measurement modules are included in your course fees. You will be expected to cover any optional visits to airlines, airports, or industry events.
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding, and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
The MSc Sustainable Air Transport Operations and Planning course starts in September 2021