A conversation with...
Terminal Duty Manager
What did you do prior to joining Birmingham Airport?
I worked as a salesman for meat goods supplier Scott-Bowyer, selling their products to various shops, kitchens and supermarkets.
What attracted you to the role?
Although I had not been in sales for very long, I felt it was really not for me and I wanted to try something new. The airport role became available and I decided to give it a try for a few months. That was thirty six years ago so I must have liked it.
Tell us about your training?
Training for the role of Terminal Duty Manager is very much on the go. It is important to understand all aspects of terminal life and how each role interacts with the others. This means there is little specific training except for the usual fire safety and health and safety courses. It usually involves shadowing a colleague for a few weeks and learning how different situations are managed. During my time at the airport, I have had several roles which have given me a lot of experience in other areas of the airport which helps me understand problems which other departments may be having. I have undertaken supervisory management, customer service orientated and various health and safety courses which all give me a good base knowledge to be able to continually assess the safety and efficiency of the terminal for our passengers and partner agencies.
So what’s a typical day for you then?
It’s really difficult to give an example of a typical day, which is partly why I like my job. Although I am aware that there will be certain regular procedures, (check in, arrivals, departures etc), each day brings a new challenge which has to be met with perhaps similar skills, but handled in varying styles. The only thing typical about my day is, I start and finish, the exciting bit is the middle.
What advice would you give for potential new recruits?
Customer service can swing from highs to lows in the course of a few hours, but it is rewarding to find someone who needs assistance and having done your best for them, it gives a great sense of achievement which lasts a long time, so if you like a challenge, give it a go.
So what do you like best about your job?
Being able to communicate with all areas of the airport and to be able to meet and assist people as they pass through the airport and to go home feeling as though I have achieved something.
And what qualities are the most beneficial?
Good communication skills, diplomacy and a strong desire to make things work in order to give the best customer service possible to our passengers and business partners.
Are there opportunities to develop in your career?
There are opportunities to develop into other areas of the airport on either a secondment or a permanent basis.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining BHX?
The airport is known in the community as being a vibrant exciting place to work. There are many aspects to airport life, take a good look at them all and if you can see yourself fitting into one, go for it. I did, more years ago than I care to remember.