If you’ve been following this blog, or if you follow me on twitter, then you know my current airport job isn’t especially exciting – I spend my time shuffling invoices, trying to make sure the bills get paid. The highlight of my day (aside from lunch) is walking to my desk, which involves traversing a long hallway with floor to ceiling windows that looks out at gates B19 and B21 as well as at the runway beyond. The rest of my day, unfortunately, is not so fun. But what if I could have ANY airport job? Even better, what if I could zero in on a specific portion of an airport job that looks like it would be really cool? In no particular order, here’s my list:
You get to play with mini light sabers AND direct airplanes? Count me in! OK, I get that marshallers typically also have all kinds of other responsibilities as well – like loading and unloading baggage, cleaning and preparing the airplanes, etc. However, if I could be JUST a marshaller, how awesome would that be? Well, awesome for ME anyway. It’s questionable whether it would be at all awesome for the poor pilots who’d be stuck trying to follow my directions. Captain: “What the heck is she doing?” First Officer: “It looks like she’s in the middle of a light saber battle.”
Jet Bridge Operator
I’m not sure why, but I’ve always thought it would be entertaining to operate the jet bridge. For this reason alone it’s probably a good thing I’m not allowed anywhere near the controls. Still, I’d like to give it a try, just once.
No, I don’t want to be responsible for actually fueling airplanes – there are just too many ways that could go horribly wrong. However, I think it would be a lot of fun to spend my day driving around on the apron. And since everyone needs the fuel truck, I’d be pretty popular.
The snowplow offers less fire danger than the fuel truck, but more runway action! Have you ever seen snowplows clear a runway? It’s actually really cool to watch! They typically work in a group so they can move a lot of snow all at once. If it has been a very snowy day, you can’t even see the plows as they’re working – they look like giant poof-balls of snow moving around on the runway. Being part of a snowplow armada looks like it would be quite entertaining. I’m pretty sure I would totally love it. I’m also sure the airfield people are busy putting extra locks on the snowplows right now.
Bird Cannon Technician
In my two months on the job I’ve only heard the bird cannon once. I’m not sure how much good it really did since the birds in question merely flew on over to the other runway. However, it was really loud and therefore also really awesome. Of course, I’d be extremely tempted to fire off the bird cannon for non-bird-related reasons… like just to make sure it still works. Or because it’s lunch time.
The contraption that sprays the de-ice/anti-ice solutions on the airplanes reminds me of something out of star wars. I think it would be quite entertaining to sit in there and spend my days spraying down planes. Ooops – I think I missed a spot. Yeah, I better spray down that portion again. Let’s get the wings just one more time. Oh look – they’re sending someone out to stop me. Time for me to hop into the fuel truck and make a quick get away!
ATC Tower INSIDE window washer
I think every avgeek has a secret (or maybe not-so-secret) desire to spend time in the tower. Who wouldn’t want a spectacular view of the airport, the runways and all the goings-on? Hence my desire to be an inside window washer – I’d get all the awesome views with none of the awesome responsibility that the air traffic controllers have. Please note my emphasis on INSIDE. No way in hell I’d want to try to clean the windows on the outside. Have you seen how high up they are? No thank you!
To be honest, I don’t know if my airport actually has motorized stairs. I suppose they might – after all I see airplanes parked out on the apron all the time and they must have some method of getting the crew out. However, I have yet to actually see any motorized stairs. If they have them, though, I really want to try driving them around. I promise I wouldn’t use them to sneak onto any airplanes. Well, not often, anyway.
Want to see the stairs in action? Check out this video from Top Gear BBC in which various airport vehicles race each other to determine which is the fastest.