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Humans of Helsinki Airport: security guard Mikael Kuisma

Article published
30.5.2019 at 09:00
Portait of Helsinki airport guard Mikael Kuisma.
Depending on the shift, Mikael Kuisma either manages or performs assignments at Helsinki Airport’s security unit. In his opinion, social skills are a guard’s most important tool.

“I started working as a guard and security officer at Helsinki Airport in the summer of 2015. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from different kinds of tasks. I’ve worked in both the terminal area and the car units that do security work around the airport. Working in the control room is the latest addition to my job description. That’s where we manage all guarding assignments: giving directions to security guards in action, monitoring the CCTV cameras, and communicating with officials and other operators at the airport.”

“As a guarding target, Helsinki Airport is extensive. The staff is large and there are millions of passengers yearly. The international nature of the airport also shows in our work through all the different security and safety-related rules and the occasional language barrier. We need to know the airport thoroughly, as different rules apply in different areas. Lately, the airport’s huge construction project has also caused some changes.”

“Guards work around the clock. We have day and night shifts. During shift changes, we go through the latest events and news. When I’m guarding in the terminal area and outside, I’m dressed accordingly, wearing an equipment belt and a cover vest. In the control room, less equipment is needed, as the work is done at a desk.”

“In my opinion, you get a better picture of operations once you’ve both been a security guard and a team leader. Both roles have their advantages, and they balance each other quite nicely. I find this work fulfilling. Working in a group is also nice. It’s great to have good co-workers to cover your back amidst busy hours and tricky situations.”

“This is a job you learn properly only by doing. There are demanding situations and you need to be able to be sensitive and tolerate pressure. Good social skills are a security guard’s best asset. Most problems are solved by listening, discussing and knowing how to act with different kinds of people. The less disturbances, the better the shift.”

Read more about the work at Helsinki Airport border control.

People & Aviation