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Welcome to the University of Southern California Aviation Safety and Security Program.  For over half a century the USC program has served as the gold standard of aviation safety management education.  The program has developed a reputation for excellence that is recognized nationally and internationally in the aviation community.

Our program was established at USC in 1952 as the first Aviation Safety program at a major research university.  We offer 20 courses to nearly 1000 students each year in a personal, hands-on, format.  Our instructors are skilled educators with extensive industry experience, and courses are taught in small classes to facilitate classroom interaction.  Students gain the knowledge to establish safety programs, investigate aircraft accidents, become expert witnesses, and deal with human factor issues.

Individual courses are designed to provide the student with expertise in a particular subject area. While each course is constructed as a whole and taught independently of the others, those interested in preparing for a full-time career in aviation safety should consider a program of courses that provides broad knowledge. We award the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety and Security Certificate to those successfully completing the required program. It certifies completion of training in the multidisciplinary areas of Aviation Safety Management.

More than 21,000 aviation professionals have come from over 20 nations to attend, including:

  • All major U.S. air carriers and aircraft manufacturers.
  • Many International air carriers recognized for their outstanding safety records, including QANTAS, SAS and Lufthansa
  • U.S. government agencies managing air safety and accident investigations and recommendations – the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, and the equivalent agencies of Canada, New Zealand, France, Great Britain, Italy, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Germany and Taiwan
  • Other agencies – Forest Service, Customs Service, DEA, FBI, INS, Bureau of Land Management, Border Patrol, all branches of the military
  • Local agencies across the country such as:  the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff’s Office, the Orange County Fire Department, the Gainsville Florida Police Department, Columbus Ohio Airport Police,  New York City Police Department as well as many others.
March 3, 2015 - Instructor Dr. Dwight Holland Selected as a Fellow to the Royal Aeronautical Society

The Aviation Safety & Security Program would like to congratulate Dr. Dwight Holland, MD, Ph.D., an instructor in Safety Management for Remotely Piloted Vehicles, on his selection as a Fellow to the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Dr. Holland is a principal with Human Factors Associates, a fellow in the Aerospace Medical Association, and an academician in the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine. He has served as the president of the International Association of Military Flight Surgeon Pilots and of the Space Medicine Association. In 2003, he served as the technical co-chair of the largest International Systems Engineering Conference held to date. He has over 100 academic presentations, abstracts, book chapters, journal special editions, and papers to his credit. As a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer, he has taught and co-developed the Human Factors in Flight Test courses at the Air Force and Navy test pilot schools. He holds commercial and jet ratings with over 2,000 hours’ flying time in more than 40 civil and military aircraft. He also participated as a geophysicist on a remote field expedition to the Antarctic, later writing a study comparing the human factors issues of polar exploration to those of long-duration space flight operations.

Dr. Holland joins John Cox, an instructor in Aviation Safety Management Systems, as USC instructors who are also Fellows in the Royal Aeronautical Society.

February 18, 2015 - William Rankin, Ph.D., Joins Instructor Staff

The Aviation Safety & Security Program would like to welcome William Rankin, Ph.D., to our instructor staff.  Currently the president of Wm L Rankin Consulting, Inc., he will join Robert Gould in teaching Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance.

A holder of a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Washington State University, Dr. Rankin performed human factors engineering in the nuclear, liquefied natural gas, and chemical processing industries before joining Boeing Commercial Aviation Services.  At Boeing, he rose to the position of Technical Fellow and Leader of the Maintenance Human Factors Group in Boeing Commercial Aviation Services.  Here, he helped customer airlines implement the Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA) process, the Ramp Error Decision Aid (REDA) process, a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) for Maintenance, a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) for Maintenance, Ramp Line Operations Safety Assessments (LOSA), and a Safety Management System (SMS) in Maintenance & Engineering and in Ramp Operations.

Dr. Rankin has over 50 publications and received the 2010 Flight Safety Foundation/Airbus Human Factors in Aviation Safety Award, and we are excited to add USC Aviation Safety & Security Program Instructor to his already impressive resume.

Dr. Rankin’s first course will be Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance, scheduled for April 27 – May 1, 2015.

January 20, 2015 - Announcing the April 20th, 2015 Safety Management for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Course