How to Spot an Avgeek Airport Employee



Not all airport employees are created equal.  Most of them are there to do a job, and that job just happens to be located at an airport.  However, there are a few who are there to do a job specifically BECAUSE it’s at the airport.  These folks are true aviation enthusiasts (aka avgeeks) who may not always love what they do for a living, but they sure do love where they work.  Here are some ways you can identify an avgeek airport employee:

  • They park as close to the airfield fence as possible, even when that means parking far from the shuttle pick-up/drop-off areas.
  • They arrive early and stay late for the sole purpose of plane spotting.
  • They smile at the sound of jet engines spooling up.
  • They would never EVER try to sneak into the ATC tower… but they wish they could!
  • They’ll use the printer at the far end of the department just so they have an excuse to walk by the large front windows and see which planes are outside.
  • Their SIDA badge is their most prized possession.
  • Their official airport jacket is their second most prized possession.
  • The best thing about the fire alarm going off is they get to stand around on the apron.
  • They spend the entire fire evacuation taking pictures… of airplanes. (They don’t know what’s on fire and they don’t care.)


    Delta plays follow the leader.

  • They’re disappointed that the big 747-8s land at the OTHER airport.
  • They wish they could bottle the scent of JetA fuel.
  • They intend to leave early, and end up staying an hour late… IN THE PARKING LOT.
  • They spend lunch walking around the terminal and plane spotting at the gates instead of eating lunch.
  • They’re shocked to learn that most airport employees actually are NOT avgeeks.
  • They’re jealous of the marshallers.
  • They never park in the garage but they know the most expedient route to the top level and where to get the best views of the runways.
  • They can never have too many pictures of airplanes or the ATC tower.
  • They suddenly realize that even the best cell phone camera isn’t good enough to take really exceptional airplane pics and immediately plan to buy a real camera.
  • They make note of all the aviation-related businesses at the airport and consider them potential future employers.
  • It takes a tremendous amout of willpower for them to refrain from bombarding hapless flight crews with a million questions.
But probably the very best way to tell if an airport employee is a true avgeek: they spend their vacation from the airport at another airport!

sum to sep 2014 019

Me at Oshkosh, 2014. Hoping to go back for Osh15!

4 thoughts on “How to Spot an Avgeek Airport Employee

  1. Here is another example of avgeeks. Several friends went to an Air National Guard open house because it put them within feet of an active commercial runway. While they snapped pics and recorded videos of commercial take offs and landings you can here the open house activities going on “behind them”, epic.


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