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Finavia employees: A team player who switched from football to airplanes

Article published
2.6.2023 at 08:00
Signy Aarna Maarianhaminan lentoasemalta
People & Aviation
Signy Aarna ended her career as a football player and started in the maintenance team of Finavia’s Mariehamn Airport. At the small Mariehamn airport, tasks are varied and teamwork is seamless.

“I started my job as a multi-talent in maintenance at Mariehamn Airport in November 2022. That was the turning point in my life so far. I ended my career as a professional football player and started a new one at Finavia.

I had played football all my life. For the last nine years, I played in Finland: first in Kuopion Pallokissat and then in Åland United. Åland United won the league championship once and the Finnish Cup three times while I was in the team.

I knew one of the airport managers of Mariehamn from football. He knew I was thinking about ending my sports career and asked me if I would be interested in working at Mariehamn Airport. At the time, I did not really consider it as a real opportunity. However, I ended up going to a job interview with Finavia, and to my surprise, they asked me when I could start.

My main job is to take care of the premises of Mariehamn Airport both indoors and outdoors. Mariehamn is a small airport, so if necessary, everyone does everything here. The variety of tasks makes the job interesting.

I still have a lot to learn about my work. For example, I am currently taking a course on airport security. In addition, the more experienced maintenance employees are constantly teaching me.

We have a great team at the airport and I value my colleagues immensely. I am the only woman in the maintenance team, but that has not had any impact on how my colleagues view me.

I enjoy my job very much. I have always been a team player. I used to have a good team around me in football and now I have a good team around me at the airport.

I am from Estonia. In the football teams, we played in English, but I can also speak Finnish and Swedish. However, the professional vocabulary related to the operations of Mariehamn Airport was completely new to me beforehand. At first, I was a bit nervous about the language, but I have noticed that I learn it quickly at work.

The airport is a unique working environment. Although I have travelled a lot, I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes. My work has given me a new perspective on travelling and airports.

I also appreciate airport staff in a new way. Nowadays, when I travel, I pay more attention to things like how I pack my luggage so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.”