UVU students travel to Florida to tour JetBlue facilities and attend airshow
Carrie Laudie | Editor in Chief | @carrielaudie
JetBlue provided airfare to Florida, and lodging, for a group of six UVU students and two faculty members so they could tour the JetBlue facilities and attend an airshow. They were given the unique opportunity to tour the Orlando Support Center (where trainings are conducted for JetBlue employees, including flight simulation), The Lodge (a newly opened hotel, reserved specifically for JetBlue employees who are training at the Orlando Support Center), and JetBlue’s hangar. The students also attended the Sun N Fun air show in Lakeland, FL.
JetBlue provided this opportunity in an effort to strengthen their relationship with UVU. In 2014 the university was the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the JetBlue Foundation. This grant is to be used to help fund an Airline Dispatch certification program, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) qualification program and a Flight Attendant training module.
“UVU has a really great group of administrators who are really dedicated to developing the aviation program,” said Joanna Geraghty, president, board of directors, JetBlue Foundation. “We also have a great connection with Salt Lake City, JetBlue has thousands of crew members based in Salt Lake City. When we look at deepening the relationship with schools around the United States, UVU really squarely was in our wheel house in terms of trying to build and establish a deeper relationship.”
The JetBlue Foundation was launched in 2013 as a company-sponsored initiative to encourage and advance aviation-related education. The purpose of the foundation is to encourage the growth of aviation-related STEM programs, along with placing aviation careers at the forefront of career options available to students.
“When you think about how dynamic flying is, it’s an industry that has everything you could possibly want in a career. Airlines are a really neat opportunity for students out there and it’s not always front and center,” said Geraghty.
Students who traveled with JetBlue were also able to participate in Sun N Fun, an air show that is the second largest of its kind in the world. JetBlue shuttled students to Lakeland in their Vets in Blue aircraft, it is a blue Airbus A320 that features a yellow ribbon “to honor those who have served and fought for our freedoms,” according to a JetBlue pamphlet that was given to guests of JetBlue at the Sun N Fun Show.
At the airshow students were able to watch bombing reenactments and pyrotechnics from restored WW II warbird aircrafts. The sound of the bombs dropping and the smoke rising from the ground was visible throughout the grounds of the airshow. There were also “performances by some of the world’s best aerobatic pilots,” these pilots shot into the air in a straight line and then did spins and flips in the air.
Carrie is the Editor in Chief for the 2015-2016 school year.