“I joined Finavia as a student more than 20 years ago. During the summer of 2002, I did a traineeship as a Customer Service Advisor in Helsinki Airport’s information service and VIP services as part of my Bachelor of Hospitality Management degree. When autumn came, I stayed at Finavia.
In addition to airport information and VIP services, I worked as a terminal guide, in the flight traffic information service and, for some time, also in parking, until I became a Customer Service Supervisor.
Now, I’m approaching 10 years as the Head of the Airport Operations Centre (APOC) at Helsinki Airport. At the same time, the APOC itself will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.
When the APOC was established, I had just returned from my study leave. I was facing a turning point in my career. I’m passionate about food and had at that time graduated as a chef. I was considering switching to working with food full-time. However, working at the APOC excited me so much that I decided to take on the challenge.
Food has remained an important hobby where I constantly improve myself. My holidays and trips are also often related to food in some way.
The task of the APOC is to maintain and develop a situational picture of the operations of the entire airport during disruptions and exceptional situations. We compile and communicate information about the current situation to the entire airport community. In addition, we coordinate various processes at the airport and build cooperation between actors. So we act as a kind of unifying force for the airport.
However, the APOC is not only reactive. We anticipate and prepare for various situations and scenarios. We also reflect on our actions afterwards and map out what could be done better in different situations.
There are many different actors, processes, systems and other variables in the airport environment, so there is a wide range of possible disruptions and exceptional situations. Situations can be everything from broken equipment and challenging weather conditions to serious exceptional situations.
Over the years, my understanding of the airport’s operations and its various operators has become very comprehensive. Despite this, I continuously come across new things to learn about and new problems to solve in my work. It keeps the work interesting.
It has been rewarding to see how things are resolved, developed and taken forward. Because we solve problems, you can often see the result of your work quickly.
In addition to the APOC, we have been working with our partner for 10 years to develop and improve an AOS (Airport Operational Status) system, which compiles a situational picture of the airport’s operations and creates transparency between different actors and processes.
The development work started from a need. We couldn’t find a suitable system for Finavia, so we decided to make one ourselves. Now the app has 5,000 users.
Currently, the app is only available at Finavia, but we have also presented it to other European airports. It has been received with interest.”