Too Much Time At The Airport?

IMG_8160Is it possible for an avgeek to spend too much time at the airport?  My first impulse is to say, of course not! Airports are where the airplanes are – too much is never enough! However, recently I’ve noticed that the line between life at the airport and life at home is getting a little blurred. For example, I was driving the other day and saw a white truck ahead of me.  My first thought was, “Oh look, an operations vehicle.  I wonder what number it is.” (All operations vehicles on the airfield are white with red numbers on them.) Of course then I remembered that I wasn’t at the airport and the white truck… was just a white truck. Doh! Think this couldn’t happen to you? Don’t be too sure! Avgeeks are especially vulnerable.  Know the warning signs!IMG_8158

You might be spending too much time at the airport if…

– You hear school bells ringing and immediately think, “Someone is moving a jet bridge!”

– Your car breaks down and you find yourself calling for a tug instead of a tow truck.

– You prepare for security screening every time you see someone wearing a royal blue shirt.

– You wish you had a ground crew to load/unload groceries (as long as you didn’t buy eggs or anything in breakable jars).IMG_8159

– You are considering installing a de-icing pad at the end of your driveway to clear the snow off your car in the winter.

– You’d like to take pictures at the family birthday party but don’t because that would require you to delete airplane pictures from your phone.

– Then a really cool plane flies over so you make the sacrifice and reluctantly delete one of the 16 pictures you took of that interesting charter plane last week. IMG_8156

– You name your dog “Gear” just so you can yell, “Gear down!” when it tries to jump on people.

– Likewise your cats are named Cessna and Piper.

– Any time you are around or near airplanes you find yourself reaching for your SIDA badge.

– “Attention in the house, attention in the house – would the party who walked off with the TV remote please return it to the couch in the living room. Thank you.”

– You consider installing perimeter fencing around your property to keep out solicitors. IMG_8157

– You would like to do background checks, issue access badges and set up mandatory screening areas for your daughter’s boyfriends.

– The flag hanging in front of your house is a windsock.

– You use coordinates instead of an address to explain where you live.

– You want to set up a localizer in your yard just because it looks cool.

– You find yourself searching online for good deals on used Stairs Trucks.

In other news…

If you’ve read my post about Airport Jobs I Wish I Had, or my recent guest post on Capn Aux’s blog, then you know why this picture is so funny… and so incredibly scary.  I guarantee the guys at Airfield Maintenance are busy changing the locks and hiding the keys!


Yes that’s me in the driver’s seat of a snowplow. No, I’m not kidding. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid!

Why Airports Need More Avgeeks

IMG_7898In many ways airports are like small cities – they have their own shops, restaurants, transportation systems and police departments. It makes sense that while there are some positions that require aviation expertise, for the most part you don’t need to be an avgeek to be a good airport employee. That said, the airport could definitely use more avgeeks. Here are a few reasons why:

We Love Where We Work – Even on Mondays

How many people do you know (other than pilots) who LOVE their office? I mean really love it to the point where they think about stopping by on their days off, not to work but just because it’s a cool place to be?  How many people do you know who love the PARKING LOT where they work? Bottom line – an avgeek at the airport = a kid in a candy store, even on Mondays.


We’ll Take On Annoying Tasks… Because Airplanes!

It’s time to help with inventory? Ugh. Wait… it’s time to help with inventory at the FBO where all the cool cargo planes land? Oh hell yes! Sign me up! Wait… There’s stairs trucks and tugs and deicing equipment there too? Sweet! Can we take inventory every week???


This was today’s mail. Even though it is fastest to go across the apron to take it to my office, I chose to slog the long way around. Why? Because one gust of wind and the mail would have been getting sucked into jet engines and causing all kind of mayhem and I couldn’t let that happen. Because avgeek.

We Take Safety Personally

The company that maintains our navaids discovered recently that it’s not a good idea to forget to send invoices because I WILL call and ask for them! Why? Because if the navaids stop functioning it could be bad.  Very bad. That’s not going to happen on my watch! I may not be allowed to de-ice airplanes or plow runways, but I can make sure the systems that help support a safe landing remain operational.

We Actually Understand Aviation

No, you don’t need to understand aviation to be a great airport employee. But let’s face it – SOMEBODY ought to understand why airplanes are cool and how ATC works and what the heck navaids are. SOMEBODY should represent at Osh and celebrate National Aviation Day.  The fact is, my love of aviation means I’m going to go the extra mile in my job. Of course, it also means I’m going to take pictures all the time, walk the long way around to my desk so I can look out the windows and continue to pester the air field guys to take me out in the plow.

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We Get Excited Over Minor Things

At a non-airport job, recording lockbox payments is necessary and important but not very exciting. At an airport job entering lockbox payments is also not very exciting… unless you’re an avgeek in which case it’s another opportunity to geek out. Look – here’s a payment from FinnAir! And Emirates! And Kuwait Airways!

Flight Crews – We’ve Got Your Back

Avgeeks aren’t necessarily pilots or FAs, but we have a better understanding than most people about what those jobs entail. So flight crews – when you’re anxious to get on the shuttle so you can get home for the first time in five days, we understand. We’ll make room for ya. And we won’t pester you with a million questions, even though we REALLY want to.


Avgeeks Wanted!

I often hear, “You work at an airport? Wow –  you’re so lucky!  I wish I could do that!” Newsflash – you can! You think I have some kind of special talent that allows me to work at the airport? Ha! If anything I’m a poster child for how a regular person who happens to like airplanes can find a way to work in aviation.  So unless you live far away from an airport, there’s no reason why you can’t work there if you want to.  My airport even has a volunteer program so you can go and act like you work there, just not get paid for it.  This would sound terrible to pretty much anyone… except an avgeek. “You mean if I volunteer I get a parking pass for the employee lot?  Awesome!!!”

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Now there are TWO of them!!!