KENT STATE UNIVERSITY FAA official speaks to aviation students

Go ahead and fly, the FAA official said.
KENT -- Students in the aeronautics program at Kent State University say they're still motivated to pursue careers in their prospective fields, perhaps even more so since the terrorist acts a month ago.
Cecilia L. Hunziker, Federal Aviation Administration regional administrator for the Great Lakes region, was the inaugural speaker Friday for a series of lectures to be presented by the KSU aviation department. The program is designed to bring leaders in aviation to Kent to discuss contemporary issues within the industry.
Hunziker told some 80 students and guests that it is the students' responsibility to encourage all of those who are afraid of flying to "embrace it, endorse it and keep supporting the flight industry. The government and its citizens will bring it back with the highest level of safety."
Background: Hunziker, an Alaska native with a degree in human resource development from Alaska Pacific University, has been with the FAA for 30 years and in her position since 1996. Her region is based in the Chicago area, covers eight states and is one of the largest in terms of registered aircraft and airports.
The Great Lakes region also has the world's busiest air traffic control centers at Chicago and Cleveland.
She also spoke about the jobs that are in desperate need of skilled professionals: research and development flight technicians, invention/research in aviation and aerospace, aviation maintenance techs and flight instructors.
Federal air marshals are much needed, but only few can meet the strict criteria, she noted.
Hunziker said that two weeks after the bombings 36,000 people filled out applications for jobs.
Not discouraged: A freshman flight tech and aviation major, Tim Day, 18, of Youngstown, said some students dropped out after Sept. 11, probably because of the restrictions that might be put on those considering a major in aeronautics.
"Sure, everyone was pretty uneasy about what happened and whether or not we should stay with our chosen majors, but this is what we want to do and we'll stick with it," Day said.
Irena Wentzel of Lakewood, a KSU freshman majoring in flight tech, noted, "By the time I graduate with my degree most of the restrictions and changes to be made in security will already be done, so I'm not all that worried about my safety."
Hunziker ended her presentation by saying, "As all of the students here take to their futures, I look out and see that I'll be in good hands."