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Envisaging L'Aquila
edited by Alessandro Coppola

Research Studentship: UK airspace regulation in an era of privatisation and commercialisation

Loughborough University – Department of Civil and Building Engineering

Research Studentship: UK airspace regulation in an era of privatisation and commercialisation.

The Transport Studies Group within the Department of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University invites applications from highly capable and enthusiastic individuals who wish to study for a PhD in the area of UK airspace regulation. The unprecedented and recurrent closure of UK and much of northern European airspace, in the spring of 2010 following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland, demonstrated the economic importance of airspace and highlighted the legal and geopolitical complexities involved in its regulation. The UK was particularly affected by the closure. Hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed, thousands of passengers had their travel plans disrupted, and airlines, airport operators, and tourist authorities reported multi-million pound losses.

The recriminations that followed the decision to close UK airspace brought issues of (inter)national airspace governance into sharp relief and indicated the scale of disruption any future airspace closures might cause. Though an in-depth empirical investigation into the political, legal, and commercial decisions that informed the UK’s response to the volcanic eruption, this research project will investigate the complex interactions that exist between aviation regulators, airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, and air transport consumer groups in the UK and explore the extent to which the progressive privatisation and commercialisation of the UK’s aviation infrastructure has changed practices of airspace regulation and governance. Working with Dr Lucy Budd and Professor Stephen Ison, the successful applicant will explore the implications of the current regulatory regime and will seek to help safeguard the future resilience of the UK airspace network by enabling stakeholders to better prepare for, and respond to, future disruption.

Funding and Eligibility

The studentship is for three years and cover fees and a tax-exempt stipend (£13,590 for the 20010/11 academic year with cost of living adjustments in years 2 and 3). Tuition fees will be paid at the UK/EU rate.  Candidates from countries outside of the EU will be liable for the difference between ‘home student fees’ and international student fees. Applicants will need to complete the Loughborough University on-line application form (http://www.lboro.ac.uk/prospectus/pg/essential/apply/index.htm <http://www.lboro.ac.uk/prospectus/pg/essential/apply/index.htm> ).

Applicants should preferably have a Masters degree in air transport management, human geography, economics, or a cognate discipline or a minimum of a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) at Bachelor level. Applicants will be judged on their academic experience, their understanding of the proposed research area, and their references. On the application form, please state under ‘additional information’ that the application relates to the ‘UK airspace’ research studentship.

Closing Date for Applications: Friday 16th July 2010

Additional Information: For informal enquiries contact Dr. Lucy Budd (L.C.S.Budd@lboro.ac.uk) or Professor Stephen Ison (S.G.Ison@lboro.ac.uk).

Further information about the studentship can be obtained by contacting:
Ms Helen Newbold,
Research Administrator,
Department of Civil and Building Engineering,
Loughborough University
E-mail: H.Newbold@lboro.ac.uk <mailto:H.Newbold@lboro.ac.uk>

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