Visitors to Prescott, Arizona, have access to a new jet service operating from Prescott Regional Airport (PRC), thanks in part to a team of Embry-Riddle students.
In August 2018, SkyWest Airlines, flying under the United Express banner, began offering flights from PRC to Los Angeles and Denver, with connections available to dozens of United Airlines destinations nationally and internationally.
Prescott Campus School of Business students collaborated with City of Prescott officials to explore the viability of soliciting the new air service. They evaluated local leisure and business travel patterns, the airport facility, passenger needs and concerns, and the needs of prospective air carriers as part of the students’ “signature” capstone business-consulting experience.
“Along the pathway to our improved air service, the city has greatly benefited from the impressive airport and airline-focused research and foundational relationship-building efforts undertaken by the Embry-Riddle business students,” says Robin Sobotta, City of Prescott Airport Director.
The Eagle Consulting program, led by Associate Professor Rick Gibson, provides business students a unique opportunity to serve as consultants to private and public sector partners.
“This was one of my favorite projects as a student at Embry-Riddle,” says Amelia Cassidy (’17) [pictured, above], who graduated with bachelor’s degrees in aeronautics and aviation business administration from the Prescott Campus. “Our job was to develop a market analysis to see how many people were driving or taking a shuttle to Phoenix, as opposed to flying directly out of PRC. We also wanted to determine the amount of community interest.”
Cassidy’s work on the project ultimately helped her land a full-time job. She now works as a network planning and scheduling analyst at United Airlines. Given her role with the project, she was invited to be a passenger on the inaugural SkyWest flight to PRC. “I think this is really unique to my situation because I had the opportunity to work on this project as a student, and as a professional, I had the opportunity to see that project go through and become reality,” Cassidy says.
Sobotta particularly credits one fall 2017 student team for bringing the airline service to fruition through its outreach with corporate representatives. “It was through these efforts that the students helped airport staff establish a stronger foundation with SkyWest Airlines — the carrier ultimately selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide air service at Prescott Airport,” she says. “Clearly, the opportunity for students to engage in actual industry consulting is a win-win.”