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Finavia employees: For the airport's electrical team each day is different – from lighting systems to aircraft power supply

Article published
14.4.2023 at 08:30
Jarko Siikava kyykyssä asematasolla aurinkoisena päivänä.
People & Aviation
Jarko Siikava, the supervisor of the on-call electrical team, finds Helsinki Airport a versatile and professionally interesting working environment. In addition to office work, Siikava performs practical electrical work both indoors and outdoors, which is rare for an engineer with a Master's degree.

“I’ve been dedicated to flying since I was young. I had flight simulators as a child, and I have participated in a lot of different flight events. Through the hobby, I have become familiar with things like flight technology and systems, and even different weather phenomena.

At Finavia, I am a so-called returnee. Starting in 2009, I worked continuously at Helsinki Airport, first as a project engineer, then as a team leader and finally as a unit supervisor. Then I changed employers for a while because I wanted to develop my skills in a different working environment as well. But I was drawn back.

Originally, I started working at Helsinki Airport already in 2003, when I worked as a security guard alongside my studies. I got a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering in Tampere. By chance, I noticed an announcement at the university about summer jobs for electrical work at Helsinki Airport. I applied for the position late, but I got chosen.

Now I work as the supervisor of the on-call electrical team. My work is much more practical than that of Master of Science engineers in general. About half of my work is done in the office. The rest is troubleshooting and deployment and installation work in different locations.

If my team has an unexpected absence and we find no substitute, I may do a 12-hour on-call shift myself. As a supervisor, I consider it important that I see the work of my subordinates in practice.

Work at the airport is varied and professionally interesting. No two working days are the same. Electrical infrastructure is the same everywhere, but there are so many different activities at the airport that there is a wide range of systems and equipment – from lighting to aircraft power supply and passenger boarding bridges.

I do a lot of my work outside. For example, work on aviation electricity is almost always done outdoors. In fact, I have said that, out of all the Master’s degree engineers in Finland, I must be among the top in those who work outdoors the most. I consider it a great boon.

The most rewarding part of my job is helping people. It's great to be able to save a day with my own expertise, whether by advising a colleague or getting a passenger plane to take off on time. However, sometimes a problem arises the scale of which is larger than usual. Those are challenging situations because I know right away that it will take longer than usual to fix them.

The airport is a unique working environment that pulses with life around the clock. It would be impossible to do my job completely remotely, but that doesn't bother me. I like it here. This is like a small town of its own, with fire and rescue services, various authorities, technical professionals, commercial services and even its own hunter.”

Further reading

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Finavia employees: From maintenance worker to Airport Manager

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