Aviation Academy Experience Behind-the-Scenes Tour at World's Busiest Airport

Twenty-one Aviation Academy students were first in line to take advantage of a rare glimpse of complex operations at ATL, thanks to Landmark dad Dr. Kofi Smith, the President and CEO of Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company. 
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Students love a three-day weekend. It's all about sleeping in on Monday morning...unless you have to be at school by 9:00 a.m. for a behind-the-scenes field trip to the world's busiest airport! Twenty-one Aviation Academy students were first in line to take advantage of a rare glimpse of complex operations at ATL, thanks to Landmark dad Dr. Kofi Smith, the President and CEO of Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company. 
 
Traveling through virtually every area of the airport on a special ATL tour bus, students learned about complex ground operations, fire fighting teams, strict airport regulations, fueling stations and tanks, and maintenance facilities. Gathering in a ramp tower overlooking Terminal E, the group witnessed the extensive take-off roll of a fully-fueled Korean Air 747-400 bound for Inchon, South Korea. 
 
Aviation Instructor Dr. Jim Lee summed up the three-hour tour this way: "School may have been closed that day, but these twenty-one students received a hands-on education of a lifetime. They were able to witness dozens of careers they can pursue in the commercial aviation industry." As one pilot recently said, "If kids see it, they can be it." Ninth grade student Aliya Applin wants to be an airline pilot but is also a gifted artist. She took copious notes throughout the tour and even drew a detailed sketch of the main control tower. Her dream is to be an airline pilot AND write a children's book about global travel, complete with her personal drawings!
 
Special thanks to Dr. Kofi Smith for arranging the tour and rolling out the red carpet. At the conclusion of the tour, Dr. Smith hosted us for lunch in one of the airport's board rooms. Final thanks go to Landmark parent and employee Eliza Lyles for taking hundreds of beautiful photos!
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