I am the Duty Operations Manager at Auckland International Airport working in the Airport Operations Centre (AOC). Our department co-ordinates the arrival and departures of both Air New Zealand’s and our customer airlines’ international flights.
Our main focus is “On Time Performance” (OTP) and we do this by co-ordinating a flight from arrival to departure, interacting with all areas of the airport including the airport company, government agencies, catering, engineering and our own check-in, ramp, baggage, concourse and cleaning teams. As the HUB airport of the Air New Zealand international network, our performance has a big influence on the whole network so we take our role very seriously… but we have a lot of fun too!
AOC is an exciting and dynamic area to work in. No day is ever the same and there are always new challenges such as weather and flight delays. It’s a great place to learn and understand how different areas of the business come together to get passengers and their flights out safely and on time.
Where did your journey start?
I started my journey back in late 2002 when I joined Air New Zealand through the then Graduate Management Programme. My first position was a Staff Scheduling Analyst where I completed rosters for the Ground Staff at Auckland International.
Where’s your journey taken you so far within Air New Zealand?
After my time in staff scheduling I moved onto a role looking after some of our customer airlines as an Account Manager. This role gave me an opportunity to take care of some of our valued airline customers. It also allowed me to learn about their operations and procedures and how we, as a Ground Handler, could meet their requirements.
After my role in customer airlines I became a Passenger Services Team Leader and commenced shift work. My role rotated between managing the Check In area and the arrivals/departures operations. This role developed into a Team Manager role when Airport Services went through a restructure and I became responsible for one of our Concourse (arrivals/departures) teams. This role changed from a purely operational Team Leader role to a role more focused on developing and supporting a team of our great people.
After two years on Concourse, I moved to become the Team Manager of SCC (Station Control Centre) which is now known as AOC. This gave me an opportunity to learn more of the airport operation and allowed me to interact with many different people. My time in AOC allowed me to develop into one of three Duty Operations Manager roles which has the responsibility for overseeing the Auckland International operation on a day-to-day basis.
Where do you hope your journey will take you?
Ultimately, I would love to be CEO but my short to medium term goal is to run one of Air New Zealand’s main airport hubs.
What Air New Zealand value do you feel you best represent and why?
I think I best represent “Can Do”. I like to go above and beyond to try and make a customer’s day. Whether it be reuniting them with a lost cell phone or trying to get late connecting luggage on a flight. At the end of the day, it’s the little extra things that customers remember us for.
What’s the best story you’ve been able to tell after a day at work?
The day the airport runway lights went out. We had 7 aircraft waiting to depart. The flights were delayed awaiting the runway lights to be fixed but in the end the flights had to be cancelled because the fault wasn’t rectified. It was a very stressful situation for both passengers and staff alike. There was a concert in town that night and very limited accommodation in Auckland. The staff worked tirelessly to make passengers comfortable and they did an amazing job to take care of the passengers the best they could under exceptional circumstances. It was a very long day for both passengers and staff. That was an interesting story to tell my friends and family and a night I’ll never forget!