The great Sam Cooke once wrote a song about it. Never was there a more truthful statement. I sure did not think that the change would occur in such a short space of time…
I started at the Tauranga Airport in June 2008, tasked to load the aircraft and perform the duties at the Fire station on Rescue Fire. The duties required in Rescue Fire included dealing with all issues associated with the terminal. It was a 50/50 split on the 40-hour week to ensure that the airport was kept operational. This lasted until about September 2008 when I went full time at Rescue Fire.
The contract came up for tender in 2014 to which myself and wife Pam were the successful tender trading as Advanced Aviation Services culminating in a start date of April 2015.
Tauranga Airport Authority carried out a task resource analysis to ascertain whether optimum operational safety performance in an emergency would be achieved with the current 1 man fire crews, whilst it was achieving this the Airport Authority opted to provide better than the base level service and also allocated further tasks to the fire crews which resulted in the fire crews needing to be increased to two-man teams covering all operational hours for Air NZ aircraft.
I have seen this airport grow to become one of the busiest regional airports and can’t wait to see the journey from this point onwards.
That change that Sam talked about has now arrived.
I see the airport as both a gateway and final destination to some many people as well as a port of departure for those on their outward journey. I love to see the interaction of those coming and going. It is a great place to work and I love to see and feel the range of emotions associated with these travellers.
It’s a homecoming and an adventure all at the same time.
By Chris Walters, Director Advanced Aviation Services