Kent State Aviation Professor I. Richmond Nettey Chairs National Academy Research Committee

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted or even completely halted air travel on national and international scales, and raised new questions and challenges regarding airport terminals and passenger health and safety.

These are just a few of the problems that I. Richmond Nettey, Ph.D., professor of aeronautics in Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE), is now tasked to help find solutions as the newly appointed chair of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Airport Terminals and Ground Access (AV050) at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Photo of Dr. I. Richmond Nettey

Nettey has been an active member of the academy since at least 2002, when he was appointed to serve on the TRB’s Standing Committee on Aviation System Planning. His three-year term of office as TRB chair runs through April 14, 2023.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to have a leading role in working with the other appointed members and affiliates,” Nettey said. “They have the opportunity to work with me, as a seasoned aviation professional who’s been in aviation education and professional aviation for more than three decades now, at the helm. For Kent State, this represents a very important appointment, in terms of stature and visibility. To have a standing committee chaired by a tenured professor is quite prestigious.”

Nettey said that notoriety comes at a time when the world is looking to organizations like the National Academy of Sciences to provide guidance for meeting unprecedented challenges.

“It’s a very historic time for commercial aviation, for aviation in general, in America and all around the world,” he said. “We had 2.4 million passengers a day last year in America, but in late April this year, we were just below 100,000 passengers.”

Nettey said his position gives Kent State an opportunity to have a front seat on important research work in aviation.

“Research work governing the use of airport terminals, governing transportation to the airports — ingress and egress facilities at the airports, especially now that we’ve got such monumental changes coming down the pike, associated with distancing requirements and the introduction of health screenings in addition to security screening at airports,” he said.

As chair, Nettey has already made a potential impact on the American response to COVID-19, regarding aviation. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation Committee asked the National Academy of Sciences for COVID-19 response proposals, which could be written into legislation for emergency funding. 

“So, I sent out a list of possible research topics to the program officer at TRB with input from two of CAE researchers, and it’s made its way to the House committee, for possible inclusion into the supplemental Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” Nettey said. “I don’t know if these have been included, but it’s that sort of frontline seat we get, as one of the advantages of this position.”

In addition to his chairmanship of the TRB Standing Committee on Airport Terminals and Ground Access, Nettey also serves on the TRB’s Standing Committees on Aviation System Planning (AV020) and Aircraft/Airport Compatibility (AV070). He also serves on the editorial and review boards for the leading scholarly journals in university aviation education, including the International Journal of Aviation Management and Collegiate Aviation Review International.

Nettey is also the president of the Safety Division, Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE), a national professional association of more than 1,000 members. He previously served as president of the University Aviation Association (UAA), which represents university aviation programs, faculty and other persons from business, government and industry involved in aviation education, training and research in the U.S. and around the world.

In addition to his leadership responsibilities, Nettey has developed and taught several graduate and undergraduate courses in aeronautics at Kent State, including the Aviation Security Policy Seminar.

“This is an excellent, and well-deserved, appointment for Dr. Nettey,”  said Kent State Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs Paul E. DiCorleto, Ph.D. “He has the extensive experience and research expertise that will serve him and the committee extremely well as chair. His appointment also represents an opportunity to bring to light many of Kent State’s aviation research strengths, and for this university to make meaningful contributions to solving major current problems on a national and even international scale. I know Richmond will represent us well.”

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 09:19 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 21, 2023 10:56 AM
Dan Pompili