AAAE membership soaring high

Theresa Cottom

The Kent State chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) expands this semester to become the largest chapter in the northeast division.

AAAE is a nationwide organization that develops leaders in aviation through networking and professional development opportunities, as well as expanding the knowledge of airport issues among its members.

Josh Euston, a senior aeronautics major, was made president of the organization in Fall of 2014. He has since been making changes in marketing the club to the university by speaking with freshmen classes about joining.

“Josh Moyer (the previous president) built the foundation and then I brought the people,” Euston said. “I want to give everyone a chance to join.”

Richmond Nettey, the associate dean of technology at Kent State, helped to establish the chapter at Kent State in 2004 and is currently its faculty advisor.

Nettey said, for the past two years, membership rates have been around 20-25 students. However, this year membership has nearly doubled to 46 students.

He said, with the addition of 20 new freshmen this year, the Kent State chapter of AAAE is now the largest student chapter in the northeast region.

 “It’s a really healthy student organization (that’s) doing extraordinarily well,” Nettey said.

Nettey said the organization places an emphasis on airport management by taking trips to different airports and bringing guest speakers to Kent State throughout the semester.

As membership has increased, Nettey and Euston have been working to set up more trips and guest speakers for the future.

The organization will be traveling to Pittsburgh International Airport on Oct. 9. Nettey said they will tour the grounds and “look at all the facets of airport management.”

The group is also looking to go to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in late October or early November of this year.

Nettey said he uses his contacts in aviation to set up educational field trips for his students.

In addition to field trips to airports, Nettey said he will take his students to the National Business Aviation Association conference in Las Vegas this year. There, aviation contacts will gather from around the world and students will be able to attend conferences and make contacts.

Along with a significant increase in membership, the chapter has also seen an increase in female students this year with a total of seven in the organization.

“I market the club the same to everybody,” Euston said. “I don’t want to market to one group over the other.”  

Autumn Kramer, a sophomore aeronautics major, is one of the students recruited by Euston last year.

“I heard about the club when Josh came to my (First Year Experience course),” Kramer said. “They’re definitely advertising more.”

The AAAE meets every Monday at 8 p.m. in room 101 in the Aeronautics Technology Building.

Theresa Cottom is the technology reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].