14 August 2014, Written by Nick Nichols

GOLD Coast Airport boss Dennis Chant has added another cap to his 40-year business career after being named an adjunct professor in Griffith University’s Aviation group.

Chant, the managing director of Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), says the honorary title strengthens the relationship between the airport operator and the university in a strategy designed to cater for future growth of the aviation industry.

Chant says QAL has been looking at teaming up with an academic institution for some time and it is currently working with Griffith to develop further education that will directly benefit the burgeoning aviation sector.

Griffith this year launched a graduate certificate in airport management, a partnership between Griffith’s Aviation group, the Griffith Business School and QAL.

It is also developing a new course in airport planning and management as part of the postgraduate certificate.

Griffith is already undertaking research with QAL that it hopes will help shape the future development of the Gold Coast Airport.

“We’re trying to get a good understanding (of passenger needs) as we embark on the next round of redevelopment of the airport,” Chant says.

“It gives us an understanding of what passengers need and the elasticity of pricing.”

Chant, who attended the Glasgow Commonwealth Games earlier this month, says there is a need to get ready for the next stage of development as the airport grows.

He says the positive vibe in Glasgow was palpable and if the Gold Coast wants to replicate that feeling “we need to get moving now”.

Chant, who is also a member of the World Governing Board of Airports Council International, has proven his credentials in the aviation sector with QAL growing to become the largest operator of regional airports in Australia.

“Having someone like Dennis Chant at Griffith University will not only help us to maintain our focus on a curriculum that is industry-relevant, but will advance our efforts to pursue research opportunities based on industry needs,” says Griffith’s senior lecturer in Aviation Management, Dr Gui Lohmann.

Lohmann says the new course is responding to demands within contemporary aviation, including expansion of the sector, the nature of services supplied by modern airport terminals and the growth of airport privatisation.

“Airports have evolved considerably in the past 15 years, becoming commercial privatised enterprises and leading to an increasing demand for airport managers to be trained and educated in the complexities of the airport environment,” he says.

Author: Nick Nichols





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