June 1st marked 6 months since I started my job at the airport. This seems like a good time to pause and assess how things are going. What have I accomplished? What do I still need to work on? No, I’m not talking about my accounting responsibilities. Who cares about those? I’m talking about as an AVGEEK! After all, the whole point of working at the airport is to experience (if only in a small way) the wonderful world of airplanes. So let’s see how I’ve done.
– I’m starting to recognize some of the commercial airplanes just by the sound of their engines. No, I’m nowhere near as good as most of you probably are, and I freely admit I still have lots of work to do. But still, I consider this to be a fairly major accomplishment, especially since I’m not a pilot and I don’t work with airplanes every day. I work in accounting, remember?
– I have developed a general sense of the rhythm and flow of airport operations. I can tell before I even get to the airport what direction planes will be taking off and landing and I know generally when certain flights are expected to arrive and depart. For example, if it is after lunch and I hear an airplane pull up to gate B19, I know it’s roughly 3pm. Conversely, if I glance up at the clock and see that it is 3:30pm but there’s no plane at B19, I know there has either been a gate change or someone somewhere is dealing with grumpy passengers.
– I’ve been to the Airfield Maintenance building multiple times and have secured a promise from the supervisors that they’ll take me out in one of the snowplows next winter. Sure, they tried to scare me off by telling me they’ll call at 2am during the next storm of the century, but that just shows that they don’t know me very well. If it means I get to go up and down the runway in a plow then hell yes I will ABSOLUTELY be there at 2am, even if I have to hitch my dogs to a sled to get there!
– I have been behind the scenes in that mysterious area where the baggage conveyor goes. And you know what’s there? More conveyors! They’re everywhere! And where there aren’t conveyors there are tugs and baggage trolleys. It’s really rather fascinating. It’s also rather dangerous – those baggage handlers are in a hurry so I am careful where I walk and I look twice before I cross any walkways. Passengers apparently don’t like blood and body parts stuck to their luggage.
– I’ve been to the FBO at the cargo airport and, of course, I recently got the chance to get up close and personal with an Emirates Cargo 777.
– I’m comfortable traversing the apron to go to a variety of destinations including Administration, Concourse A and Baggage Claim. If I can get somewhere by crossing the apron I generally will. And if I happen to pause to take a pic or two or a dozen, well who can blame me?
– I know the breeds of all four airport K9s (two German Shepherds and two German Shorthair Pointers), as well as their names. And I’ve met two of them personally. In fact, one suddenly appeared in my cubicle, sniffed around briefly and then departed. Apparently since I had neither bomb-making materials nor dog treats in my possession, I was not worth his continued interest. (The HR lady down the hall, however, keeps dog treats in her desk. She is VERY popular.)
– I’ve ventured into the bowels of the airport basement and lived to tell about it. Yes, the airport has a basement, and parts of it are creepy as hell. I’m not kidding. It’s a labyrinth of dark passages and hallways that seem to go haphazardly in all directions. There’s one area that recedes into what is essentially a giant crawl space so that the predominant feature is dirt – dirt walls, dirt floor and giant mounds of dirt in the middle. It doesn’t sound very hospitable but actually there are bunches of people who work down there. Before you go feeling too sorry for them let me point out that if we ever get attacked by zombies, they’re in the perfect place to safely hide out and hopefully launch a counter attack.
– While I’ve spent lots of time in Concourse B and I occasionally wander over to Concourse A, I have yet to get into Concourse C. Gaining access to C is important because charter flights typically fly in and out of there so I’m missing some cool photo opportunities.
– I haven’t been to the GA airport yet so I’m making plans to go. After all, I can’t properly pay the bills for an airport I’ve never seen! (Well OK, yes I can – but please don’t tell my boss!)
– I need to get back to the FBO at the cargo airport again (preferably on a day when one of the 747s is there). Unlike the FBO at the passenger airport, which is run by a third party, the FBO at the cargo airport is run by the airport itself. And guess what the FBO has in its possession? That’s right – a stairs truck! *insert evil laugh here* Oh yes, stairs truck, you WILL be mine! Or at least maybe I can convince someone to give me a ride. Hey, it’s good to have goals, right?