Category Archives: Aviation Career

Message to the Aviation and Aerospace Science Graduating Class Fall 2020 – MSU Denver

A message from Jeffrey Price, professor MSU Denver and owner of Leading Edge Strategies, an aviation security and airport management training and consulting firm, shares a special message of hope to the 2020 graduating class of aviation and aerospace science.

To the graduates of the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science Fall of 2020.

You’re graduating at a difficult time.

After 9/11, hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs were lost,

But they came back.

After the recession of 2008, hundreds of thousands of jobs in aviation we’re lost,

But they came back.

And after this pandemic with hundreds of thousands of jobs in aviation, again, lost.


They will come back.

Preparing for the future, being successful both during and after this pandemic means realizing the world we return to is not the world we left. That world no longer exists.

I am frequently asked why I include history in my books and training classes – the keys to our success are discovered by unlocking the past.

Take a look at the game changers in our industry. From the advent of the jet engine aircraft in the 50s, through the Deregulation Act in ’78, through 9/11 and the 2008 recession.

This pandemic is another major game-changer. Despite the sad loss of millions of aviation and aviation-dependent jobs, this also allows the aviation industry to do a lot of restructuring.

And speaking of waves, when I did a series of blog posts a few years back where I read 50 books in 50 weeks, blogging about each book each week, one of the best ones I read was Force of Nature, by surfer Laird Hamilton. I’m not going to leave you with pithy clichés about not being able to control the ocean but learn to swim (or whatever it’s various iterations are).

What I learned from Hamilton is more than a cliche. Hamilton became one of the world’s top surfers because of years of experience, learning to see how the ocean changes with the tides, the weather, the cycles of the moon, and numerous other variables.

Those of you in the aviation industry, you need to do the same thing. If you are out of the industry, take any job to get you back in. It’s always easier to look for a job when you’re within the industry than when you’re standing outside.

Join the trade association most closely associated with your industry. Get involved in the committees and projects. Stay tuned to the information they provide and what their members see in the real world. Subscribe to their newsletters, and other news feeds related to your chosen part of our industry.

Develop your own intel by getting out there and talking to people. No matter how much information you collect, there is always tremendous value in listening to the people on the ground doing the job.

To succeed in the future, you cannot prepare to succeed in a world that no longer exists.

Educate yourself, be real even though it might hurt, and prepare for the future you see coming.

Then be ready to adapt to that future as it reveals itself.


Jeffrey C. Price, Professor

Metropolitan State University of Denver


If you want to fly, you’ve got to pay the freight

  Do you think it was a good thing that Captain Chesley Sullenberger had a flight plan on that day he landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River? Obviously, the flight plan did not call for an encounter with a flock of geese, nor a water landing but the fact that the good… Continue Reading

Who Should You Believe?

“The worst vice is advice,” Al Pacino in the movie, The Devil’s Advocate. For years, there was a rumor circulating around the United Airlines hiring process that pilot applicants, (if they were from out of town and staying in the designated hotel) could never be seen out of their hotel room unless they were in… Continue Reading

What is worthy of your best efforts?

“Aren’t there some jobs where it doesn’t matter if you’re there or not?” This was a question posed by a student the other day. It came during a discussion when I was encouraging my students to make a difference at every job they are at. My answer: yes, in fact every job is that way… Continue Reading

15th Annual AAAE/DHS/TSA Aviation Security Summit, Part III

The big issue this year continues to be the insider threat / employee security. Legislative staffers visited with industry leadership at the Summit about the various laws attempting to make their way through the House or the Senate, directed at improving airport security. A significant piece of legislation to keep an eye on is H.R.3102… Continue Reading

15th Annual AAAE/DHS/TSA Aviation Security Summit, Part II

Although the airport security industry missed out on meeting TSA Administrator Neffenger, the annual security summit did provide some updates on other programs: ● Status of Rapback: Rapback is a criminal vetting process that automatically resubmits aviation worker fingerprints to determine if an individual who already has an airport identification badge, has subsequently been arrested… Continue Reading