“As a maintenance supervisor I lead our team ‘from the front’, meaning I work hands-on on all the same tasks as the other maintenance workers: cleaning the runways of snow and ice, unloading and loading luggage on to the planes, working in security check as well as fire and rescue operations. In addition, I organize and manage work together with the shift managers. The supervisor position is relatively new at Ivalo Airport: As passenger numbers have grown, leadership responsibility has also been reorganized, because the airport manager cannot handle everything alone.
“Our work is often physically demanding, because the luggage on charter planes is unloaded and loaded manually. An average piece of luggage weighs 12 to 15 kilos, and one plane has around 180 to 200 pieces, so during one shift, our workers lift up to thousands of kilos of luggage by hand. It can be a tough job, and we work against the clock in all types of weather conditions. The turnaround time for planes is 40 minutes, and around five to six tons of luggage is transferred in that time.
“The staff at Ivalo Airport is fantastic and very easy for a supervisor to lead. Great team spirit helps you through even the toughest rush hours. We have an age range of 17 to 63: The older workers guide the younger ones, and vice versa. I feel like this is a place for hard workers: everyone has their own tasks and they take pride in doing them well. The strong commitment from the staff took me almost by surprise when I first started: You never need to ask whether someone is willing or able to take on a task, or double check if they’ve done it, but you can trust that everything is taken care of. In our job, you also see the results immediately: When we succeed, planes are able to land and take off on time.
“Here in Lapland, the airport has a front row seat to the growth of the whole region, and it’s nice to be able to contribute to it. It’s also rewarding to see things developing and moving forward. Already this winter season, the input from Ivalo Airport staff has been amazing. We’ve been able to handle the challenge of growing passenger numbers and we’re ready for the future. We hope tourism to Lapland keeps growing. Bring it on!”