Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering Welcomes Federal Aviation Administration Officials to Showcase Facilities and Capabilities

FAA administrator Erik Amend speaks to students at the KSU airport

Kent State University was recently honored to host Great Lakes Regional Administrator, Erik Amend and Airports District Office Manager, John Mayfield, Jr., from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE) for a tour of the Kent State Airport and Aeronautics and Engineering Building facilities. Also attending the tour was Tiera Moore, a representative from Congresswoman Emilia Sykes’ office. The visit highlighted the college’s current capabilities and plans for additional expansion and growth, particularly in advanced air mobility and aviation maintenance, and capabilities in workforce talent training and development.

Representatives from Kent State guided the tour for the FAA administrators. President Todd Diacon offered insights into the institution’s overarching vision and commitment to the advancement of air mobility and autonomous systems, and Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean for the College of Aeronautics and Engineering shared the strategies that propel the college forward. “Kent State is committed and positioned to lead Ohio’s efforts in Advanced Air Mobility, enabling the growth of new industries, supporting workforce training in new and emerging technologies, and enhancing the quality of life in the region and state” added Marla Pérez-Davis, Ph.D., director of the Center for Advanced Air Mobility.

During the visit, Regional Administrator Amend experienced the advanced training capabilities Kent State offers and engaged in a detailed student presentation that demonstrated the practical applications of their studies in unmanned aircraft systems and advanced air mobility. Bloebaum briefed the visitors on the growth opportunities for infrastructure, to include:

  • Rehabilitation of the existing hangar that will extend the life of the building a minimum of 20 years.
  • A new maintenance operations and academic center, which would support the operations of our own collegiate fleet of 34 aircraft, as well as an academic training hangar for an up to 50-student cohort who will obtain their FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification and an associate degree. These programs are directed at filling the impending workforce gap and providing significant career opportunities.
  • A physical location for the Center for Advanced Air Mobility (CAAM), an innovative space that will utilize the footprint of the current maintenance hangar and former terminal. This center aims to revolutionize air transportation through the integration of autonomous aircraft technology, focusing on efficiency, sustainability, and the advancement of key technologies. It will serve as a catalyst to advanced air mobility education programs, research, use case flight operations, and an entrepreneurial boom of emerging industries for capturing the full potential of advanced air mobility.

Kent State presented to the FAA officials a suite of innovative programs, including the multidisciplinary UAS and flight operations, cybersecurity engineering aimed at fortifying systems, and efforts shaping policy for aircraft and UAS integration within modern airspace.

Erik Amend using extended reality headset

The group visited Kent State’s Air Traffic Control lab showcasing simulation of real-world air traffic scenarios, which provides students with experiences akin to the FAA’s own training facilities in Oklahoma City. Additionally, Regional Administrator Amend personally experienced the realism of aviation simulation by piloting a Beechcraft airplane in the Extended Reality (XR) lab using a Vive Pro 2 headset on a CKAS 6 degrees of motion platform with lab directors Stephanie Fussell, Ph.D. and Benjamin Kwaza, Ph.D.

The potential for collaborative efforts was a central them as the CAAM within the College serves as a nexus for innovation, uniting faculty, staff, students, and partners from government, academia, and industry to address the transformative field of advanced air mobility. The FAA officials expressed their strong impressions of the student presentations and the advanced capabilities demonstrated at the airport and within the Aeronautics and Engineering Building on Kent Campus. The visit reinforced Kent State’s role as a leader in fostering innovation and collaboration within the aviation and the emerging advanced air mobility sectors.

For more information about the College of Aeronautics and Engineering and its programs, please visit

POSTED: Thursday, March 14, 2024 03:35 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2024 09:39 AM