The unprecedented growth in the aviation sector and the commercialisation of space technologies has created the need for not just managers but also for professionals to handle the legal complications that arise from these high-value transactions.

The Center for Air and Space Law (CASL), NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad is launching new and innovative programmes of study in Aviation, Space, Telecommunications, GIS and Remote Sensing Laws, in June, 2013. Classes for these courses, which combine technology, management and law, are to be offered at the centres in Bangalore, Guwahati, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

The course designers in NALSAR University say these courses offer a unique value-added qualification which could help students get global placements in the aerospace and telecom industries. The initiative, NALSAR says, crystallises an academic–industry partnership in the domain of air-transport management, aviation, space and telecom laws.

The unprecedented growth in the aviation sector coupled with commercialisation of space technologies have created the need for thousands of skilled men and women to meet requirements not just as managers of the rapidly growing airports, airlines, aerospace and telecommunications sectors, but also for handling the legal complications arising from these high-value transactions.

Course specifics

According to Prof. V. Balakista Reddy, CASL Head in NALSAR, the new courses being launched are the two-year Master’s Degree in Aviation Law and Air Transport Management; Master’s Degree in Space Technology and Telecommunications Laws; one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Aviation Law and Air Transport Management and GIS and Remote Sensing Laws, respectively.

Terming these courses as unique super-competency courses, Prof. Reddy points out that very few universities in the world offer such specialisations. These courses would benefit students, working executives and scientists.

The right time

But is it the right time to start such programmes as the global economic slowdown had adversely affected industries in these sectors? Prof. Reddy argues that Indian aviation sector is bouncing back after a temporary economic meltdown. More airports are getting privatised and new ones coming up. There is a demand for aviation lawyers, management professionals and aeronautical engineers.

In addition, airlines are seeking to enter new markets, which can be seen through the recent tie-up between Tata Sons and Air Asia. Even in West Asia, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways continue to grow and the infrastructure is also improving. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and other airports are being upgraded and developed to cope with the growing traffic. Besides, several aerospace enterprises are supporting the aviation sector. The increasing opportunities require specialised and well-trained professionals to man the modern aviation industry. The NALSAR courses are meant to provide ready-made input for the aviation industry.

Prior requirements

Given the advanced nature of these courses, a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline will be required of applicants who would be evaluated through Statement of Purpose (SoP), Group Discussion and a personal interview. However, preference will be given to candidates having previous industry exposure. The target group consists of working executives, engineers, scientists, MBAs, lawyers and students pursuing engineering, MBA and law, Prof. Reddy said.

Job oppportunities

The only aviation-related programmes offered till now have been confined to IATA Travel and Tourism and hardly have any courses covered the core areas of Aviation Management. Airline sectors are in need of Airline Managers, Business Development Managers, Marketing Managers, Safety and Security Managers, Operations Managers, International Relations Managers ( for handling bilateral and traffic rights), Aviation Law Experts, Air Transport Managers, Human Relations Managers, Finance Managers, Environmentalists etc. and only students who have specialised in Aviation Law and Air Transport Management can handle these posts effectively.

As these courses are dynamic in nature, they require constant updating and evaluation.

To evaluate these courses, NALSAR University has constituted a high-powered Committee consisting of judges, experts from the aerospace industry, defence, ISRO, telecommunications etc. In fact, the course on GIS and Remote Sensing was reviewed by Dr. Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India, who found it highly relevant.