On April 26, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) welcomed undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Schools of Engineering, City Planning, and Environmental Studies as part of the airport's tour program. The students visited the ramp tower, airfield, and Engine 78. Taking a behind the scenes tour of an international airport is an opportunity that most people do not get to experience.
The visit to the ramp tower gave a unique perspective of the entire airport. From the high vantage point, the students could see the airfield in its entirety including the runways, terminals, FAA tower, cargo bays, de-icing stations, and other points of interest. The tour also provided a first-hand opportunity to show the students how the diversity of their disciplines of study supports the daily operations of an international airport.
One student noted that she learned how the changes she will make will affect others (and herself) individually and globally. “It’s easily forgotten how integral transportation is to the overall global system. We learn to ride bikes, drive a car, to use public transportation and eventually fly. It’s all interconnected learning.” It was a great way to cap off the semester.
Field trips to PHL provide participants with practical knowledge of the complex operations of an airport in an invaluable way that enhances classroom learning. Special thanks to PHL’s John Glass and Steve Belton whose airfield operational knowledge was of particular interest to the students.
If your organization or school is interested in a tour of Philadelphia International Airport, please click on this link for contact information.