by Joseph Sweeney | editor-in-chief

Like many students, freshman Justin Ambrozaitis loves Minecraft, so when he and his friends heard of a competition where they could put their skills to use, ideas began to take flight.

“Essentially we had to replicate a real life airport using all of its real life details: a one to one scale where one meter would equal one block, all of the [other] necessary details,” Ambrozaitis said. 

Ambrozaitis is a member of Team Aireos, an esports team originating from Northville Public Schools school district in Michigan, and recently won first place in the Global Airport Design Challenge, hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The members of Team Aireos with their scale model of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport

“One of the kids on my team, his teacher actually recommended it to him,” Ambrozaitis said. “We decided to enter it because we thought it would be a good opportunity to learn, expand our knowledge, and just fill our time with something to do.”

Earlier this month, Ambrozaitis traveled to Detroit with the rest of Team Aireos to be recognized by the Detroit Metropolitan Airport Authority. He was congratulated by Texas Governor Greg Abbot.

“I really learned the complexities of real architects and planners, the challenges they face when trying to develop such big projects and really what they go through to build things,” Ambrozaitis said.

Over the course of three weeks, the team of five worked to replicate the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, while adding in some of their own additions.

“We had to implement our own innovations to better prepare these airports for the future,” Ambrozaitis said. “I worked heavily on the innovations because I really was creative in that area. 

Team Aireos with the Detroit Metropolitan Airport Authority

One innovation I did was a refugee center. There was also an area for COVID and COVID testing. We also did solar panels, just things that helped the airport.

Although Ambrozaitis plans to study business as opposed to a field like architecture, he thinks these competitions can help anyone-even those who are only observing. 

“It really helps you pay attention to detail and understand the complexities that real planners make,” Ambrozaitis said.

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About The Author


Joseph Sweeney is a senior entering his fifth year as a student journalist. He now serves as the editor-in-chief of My Jag News and also works with Jag TV. When not in school, Sweeney can typically be found making sandwiches at the nearby Panera Bread.

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