”I used to be a commercial pilot. For the past eight years, I’ve worked for Finavia: the first four at Avia College and the last four as an Apron Controller and instructor. Our unit’s job is to keep the airport apron running smoothly and efficiently 24 hours a day. We work in three shifts per day, directing planes to the right parking spots and passenger bridges, coordinating the towing of aircrafts and updating air traffic schedules. We also coordinate aircraft deicing and anti-icing procedures at Helsinki Airport.
We need to be constantly alert and up-to-date on approaching and departing air traffic, schedules and all the traffic on the apron. We work closely with Tower Control, the airport marshallers and other vehicles driving on the apron through vhf-radios and phones.
Decisions about how to direct the aircraft and vehicles need to be made quickly, with several constantly changing variables taken into account. The hectic nature of the job makes it challenging, but it also gives a sense of accomplishment when those challenges are tackled well. The best days for me are when we manage to keep the apron running smoothly despite difficulties such as bad weather.”
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