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  • Q&A – Ian, Senior Airfield Officer

    Q&A – Ian

    Q&A – Ian, Senior Airfield Officer


    In Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport we’ve seen Ian learning to marshal long-haul jets, checking the runways for debris and now demonstrating various novel ways to keep birds and aircraft apart. 

    And as a card-carrying aviation enthusiast and birdwatcher, it must be the ideal job for the former health and safety officer from the West Midlands. 

    Ian spent 23 years working in aviation, before changing jobs. But he missed the excitement of airport life and took his job at Heathrow in 2017.

    “I love the variety of work and the buzz it gives you, plus the big skies and weather,” says Ian.

    Meet Ian

    Time at Heathrow: 18 months

    Started as: Airside Safety Officer in training

    Memorable moments: Marshalling my first Boeing 747 while being filmed. Scary!

    Favourite film/show: Lord Of The Rings, Living Britain, Catweazle (as a child)

    Heathrow in three words: Orderly, varied, unique.

    The amount you need to learn in a short time to be fully effective.

    Always keep your eyes open, and your mind. If you care, you can do something about it.

    Start even younger!

    I’m not sure about talent! But I heard a blackbird once and tried to mimic it. I think it does help – birds can become habituated, so something new and different makes them wary or inquisitive. Corvids (crows) are extremely clever.

    Always ensure your moustache wax is pliable and to hand. Oh, and keep your monocle clean!  

    Britain’s Busiest Airport

    The documentary cameras return for a behind-the-scenes look at the people who keep Heathrow running. Meet and share their daily challenges in this ‘city within a city’ where no two days are alike.