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A quick guide to what to expect when working in the airline industry

Airport, employment, Mechanical & Electrical...

The airline industry is dynamic and demanding.  It can be both rewarding and exhausting but for most people within the industry, the pros far outweigh the cons.  If you’re considering a career in the airline industry but you’d like to know more about what it’s really like, we’ve complied a quick guide to what to expect when working in the airline industry.

Security – the number one priority

Airport security is some of the strictest in any industry.  With thousands of people moving through an airport every day, it’s imperative that security is rigorously enforced.  For airport employees, the airport is separated into two distinct sections: Land-side and Air-side.  Land-side employees work in areas of the airport which are easily accessible and not strictly regulated.

Air-side employees work in any area post-check in and are subject to intensive scrutiny, both when applying to work at the airport and in their day-to-day work.  To work either Land-side or Air-side, a person must undergo some security screening.  For Air-side employment, the criteria is far more stringent than to work in a Land-side role.

The pressures of a customer-facing environment

Many airport employees will work in customer-facing roles.  Airline passengers are often travelling to tight schedules and any delays or changes to their flights can be stressful.  To work in an airport customer-facing role, a calm and patient attitude is essential.  Lost baggage, cancelled flights and airline strikes can cause a lot of chaos.  Working in airport customer service takes a skilled mediator with excellent interpersonal skills.

Working in a customer facing role can also be highly rewarding.  If you can meet the challenges, then you will get positive results both from your fellow employees and the passengers you are there to help.  Whether you work as a flight attendant, airline representative, customs official or retail assistant/manager, you’ll meet a diverse range of people every working day.

Technical roles in the airline industry

To ensure that an airport runs smoothly and efficiently, a huge team of mechanical and electrical workers are in charge of maintaining a plethora of machinery and equipment.  Perhaps the most important technical role is ensuring that all aircraft are airworthy by performing checks, refuelling, and completing any maintenance. 

Alongside, aircraft mechanics and electrics, there is numerous equipment which must be kept in perfect working order to make sure that the necessary levels of safety and efficiency are upheld.  This includes airport conveyor belts, ramps, elevators, escalators, security scanners, moving floors, baggage trucks, buses and all manner of computer systems which control and regulate air traffic control and security.

A 24-hour working environment

An airport is open for 24 hours every day.  It is like a microcosm of a small city, with people working round the clock to ensure that the airport continues to function.  Nights, weekends and bank holidays are just ordinary days for airport staff.  If you’re just starting out on your career in the airline industry you can expect some demanding schedules with potentially unsociable hours.

Many airport jobs involve working irregular shift patterns.  These can play havoc on your body clock, so be prepared for some jet lag even if you’re not based on the flight deck.  If you are a pilot or part of cabin crew, the hours can be even more sporadic, long and demanding.  The rewards are plentiful, however, with the ability to see the world while doing your job.

PPR – expertise and experience in the airport sector

At PPR, we have extensive experience and understanding of the airport sector.  Our close physical location to London Heathrow has given us the chance to work on both Q5 and Q6 of the airport’s development plans.  We are Approved HAL Signatories and have supplied certified workers for a variety of roles across Heathrow airport.

If you’re interested in finding out more about working in the airline industry and how PPR can help, get in touch today.  For more information about our current vacancies or to register your interest with us, call 01895 80 81 88 or send us a message online.