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Aviation Management, BS - Airport Management Option

Bachelor’s Degree in Airport Management

Keep the aviation industry running smoothly by supporting one of its most critical pieces: the airport system. A bachelor’s degree in Airport Management from the University of Central Missouri will launch you into a dynamic career where the sky is truly the limit.

Airports are hubs for airline and government operations and demand highly skilled leaders who can create safe, efficient systems. Careers in airport management include overseeing compliance with federal and local regulations, personnel management, financial policy-making and much more.

More than just a degree in airport management

The University of Central Missouri has been training aviation professionals for more than 50 years. We offer a supportive, student-centered learning environment with faculty focused on your success. Training at our own Skyhaven Airport, plus unique learning opportunities made possible by our broad network of alumni and industry contacts, will prepare you to excel in the field of airport management.

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Mr. Jim Gamble
Assistant Professor/ Undergraduate Program Coordinator
TRG 210E
Tel: 660-543-8411

Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies

Department of Aviation

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Hands-on experience at modern airports

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Qualify to take the AAAE CM exam

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Work at airports worldwide

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Low tuition costs, high-quality degree

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Experiential, student-centered learning

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Aviation training for 50+ years

What you will study

Make a positive contribution to any workforce as soon as you graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Airport Management from the University of Central Missouri. Hone your critical thinking and problem-solving skills with courses in airport management on our Warrensburg campus. Apply your new skills through internships and work experience at our own Skyhaven and other airports.

You’ll have the option to take courses in airport management that will prepare you for the membership exam for the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Qualifying for membership in this well-respected national trade organization signals to your future employers that you bring top-flight knowledge, practical experience and a focus on safety to the job.

Some of your courses in airport management may include:

  • Professional Ethics in Aviation: Learn about business ethics, employee responsibility, diversity and accessibility, ground issues and security for airport management and environmental and health concerns.
  • Airport Planning and Design: Prepare for a number of careers in airport management with insight into airport planning and development and normal operating procedures.
  • Aviation Safety: Understand the complex factors that affect airport management and overall aviation safety, including methods that can reduce accidents both in flight and on the ground.


Excellence in Airport Management

  • A Most Focused College for Air Transportation in the Plains States Region (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10.5%: Most Popular Colleges for Aviation/Airway Management & Operations (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 15%: Most Popular Colleges for Air Transportation (College Factual, 2022)
  • Among the 30 Best Affordable Aviation Management and Operations Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) (Affordable Schools, 2020)


Unique learning opportunities in airport management

UCM’s hands-on approach to learning ensures you’ll graduate with practical experience to back up your bachelor’s degree in Airport Management:

Internships: In addition to program courses, you’ll complete an internship to gain working knowledge of the aviation industry. During your internship, experience what it’s like to be line personnel who fuel and tow aircraft, maintenance personnel in the repair garage, a dispatcher and more. UCM undergraduate students in Airport Management have interned at bustling major airports nationwide, including Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis and Chicago.

Field trips on the ground: Closer to home, you’ll have the benefit of behind-the-scenes visits every semester to airports within a day’s drive of the University of Central Missouri. Glimpse what’s involved in daily airport management, from operating a control tower to handling baggage.

Student activities: At the Warrensburg campus, we encourage our Airport Management majors to get involved with our vibrant, student-led aviation groups: American Association of Airport Executives, Missouri Airport Managers Association, Women in Aviation International and Alpha Eta Rho.


What can you do with a degree in Airport Management from UCM?

The University of Central Missouri’s bachelor’s degree in Airport Management will qualify you for a number of jobs in aviation as soon as you graduate. You’ll also be prepared for advanced study in the field:

  • Airport operations: Use your bachelor’s degree in Airport Management to ensure that an airport is meeting FAA standards and operating safely.
  • Airport assistant manager: Duties vary for this fast-paced job, which may involve acquiring, maintaining and staffing airport vehicles and equipment, working through lease agreements with airport businesses and monitoring and budgeting airport operations. 
  • Airport consultant: Provide airports services in planning, designing and construction of facilities and infrastructure such as terminals, runways, and air traffic control towers.
  • Fixed-base operations (FBO): Your knowledge of airport management is a valuable asset in determining how best to serve the airport as a client when you work for one of the entrepreneurial businesses on site at an airport.
  • Government regulator: Work for a federal or local government agency or consultant to ensure safe airport management.

More about careers in airport management

Use our interactive tool below to explore salaries and employment trends for careers in airport management. Job candidates with a bachelor’s degree in Airport Management from UCM are in strong demand in this growing, vibrant industry.




Financial assistance options for your degree in Airport Management

The University of Central Missouri strives to make a quality education affordable to anyone. We have been nationally recognized for our commitment to low student debt and offer many options to finance your degree in Airport Management from UCM. For more than 150 years, UCM’s priority has been to enroll and graduate smart, capable students with great potential, regardless of their financial need. 

Generous university-wide funding options, low tuition fees and strong job prospects contribute to the excellent value of a bachelor’s degree in Airport Management from UCM. As an Airport Management major, you may also be eligible for program-specific funds, including:

  • AAAE Foundation Scholarship Program
  • ACI-NA Airport Commissioner’s Scholarships
  • Chuck Peacock Memorial Scholarship 

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships with the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

Get fast-tracked for senior-level jobs and qualify for higher wages with a master’s degree from UCM:

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Make yourself more marketable.

Add a minor or undergraduate certificate to your bachelor’s degree in Airport Management to explore a specialty before your graduate from UCM:

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Explore programs related to airport management.

UCM offers additional degree programs in Aviation, if you’re not sure whether a degree in Airport Management is right for you:


Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will understand:

  • The overall systems planning and structure of airports.
  • Airport, airline and aviation industry finance.
  • Aviation safety and security needs.


Organizations and Opportunities

American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) UCM Student Chapter

Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world's largest professional organization for airport executives, representing thousands of airport management personnel at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support airports. AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C. and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities including training, meetings and conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.

The AAAE Student Chapter at UCM is a student organization for those who are interested in a future within the aviation industry. Membership of the AAAE UCM Student Chapter is open to all current UCM students, regardless of major and without any discrimination.  The members of this chapter take part in airport tours, conferences, presentations from industry professionals, and social events all of which focus on increasing each student’s skills, knowledge, and networking within the aviation profession.

AAAE UCM Student Chapter members have the opportunity to attend the Annual AAAE Conference and Exposition. Previous locations for the conference include Houston, TX, Long Beach, CA, San Diego, CA, Boston, MA, and many others.

Every student within UCM’s Airport Management prepares to take AAAE’s Certified Member exam before completion of the program. Becoming a Certified Member (C.M.) is a great way to show future employers your dedication to your airport career. Students must join AAAE as an Academic Graduate member of AAAE and enroll in the Certified Member Program. The C.M. is a useful credential when seeking employment within the airport management profession.

Candidates in the C.M. program obtain the designation by completing only one step - a 180-question, multiple-choice examination. This multiple-choice exam is comprised of information contained within the four Body of Knowledge modules, and measure a candidate’s comprehensive knowledge of airport management. UCM will proctor this exam at the end of the student’s senior year.

AAAE website:

Contact: Advisor Dr. Matthew Furedy at

Missouri Airport Managers Association (MAMA) UCM Student Chapter

MAMA is an organization comprised of the public use airports in the state. The group works toward the improvement of airports in the state through educational and networking opportunities at twice-yearly conferences.

MAMA is a student organization that seeks to bridge the gap between those seeking Airport Management degrees and those who are already Airport Managers within Missouri.

The members of this chapter take part in airport tours to gain a better understanding of their day-to-day operations, conferences and presentations from industry professionals, and social events all of which focus on increasing each student’s skills, knowledge, and networking within the aviation profession.

MAMA UCM Student Chapter members have the opportunity to attend two separate conferences each school year. The 4-States Airport Conference happens annually in downtown Kansas City each fall.  This conference is comprised of all aviation-interested groups in the 4 state central region of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.  Airports representing the 4 states, consultants, and other aviation related organizations have joined together to keep apprised of aviation issues in the Central Region, as well as to cover education topics at the fall conference.  The second conference is the Annual Missouri Airport Managers Association Conference that is held in Lake Ozark, MO each spring.

MAMA website:

Contact: Advisor Dr. Matthew Furedy at

Aviation Internships

An internship experience is required for all Airport Management majors. Additional information regarding internships opportunities and the related processes may be obtained by contacting Dr. Matthew Furedy at


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