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.

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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???

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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.

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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!!!

4 thoughts on “Why Airports Need More Avgeeks

  1. Jennifer

    Every time that I read another of your blog posts, I become even more convinced that the men in white coats must be out there looking for you. But (hint) they will never find you if you hide out in the cab of the mobile stairs truck.

    Honestly, it’s always nice to read something from someone who so obviously loves their #avgeek job.

    JR

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    • Thanks so much JR… I think! LOL! The problem with hiding in the mobile stairs is that the one parked outside of my department doesn’t have a cab on it. The driver’s seat is open, rather like a golf cart. I might have more success hiding in one of the baggage carts. ;o)

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  2. I agree with JR–it’s nice to hear the excitement from those who are happy to be at the airport, because so many folks aren’t. Keep it up! And if we see the guys in white lab coats… we’ll try to head ’em off at the pass 🙂

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  3. I have to say that it makes me feel good to think there are “Avgeeks” behind the scenes insuring the system functions properly. I always enjoy my exterior inspections of my aircraft and I’m very aware of the ground crews and what they’re doing. I’m often impressed with speed and precision of how they carry out their duties. To know that same attention to detail is being carried out even further “behind the scenes” makes the view out my office window that much better. Thanks for giving us a little more insight on how the machine works Jenn ; )

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