London Heathrow Airport in Hounslow is the largest single site employer in the United Kingdomwith a staggering 84,500 people working in and around the Terminals. The local boroughs that surround the airport provide a substantial number of the employees at the airport with nearlyhalf of them coming from the surrounding areas. As well as the people that work at the airport the supporting factor employs an additional 100,000 people. The new planned 3rd runway that has been given the go ahead by the government is expected to lead to the creation of an additional 65,000 new jobs.
The range of jobs that are available at the Heathrow airport is enormous and covers a range of occupations on a full time and part time basis. So whether you’re a school leaving or a graduate, a cleaner or certified engineer, disabled or able bodied, it’s more than likely you could find a career at Heathrow. There are always vacancies at Heathrow.
Types of Job
Sector – Transport and Logistics
Airport baggage handler
Airport baggage handlers, provide an effective service to the smooth running of the airports, with safety and speed as priorities,the main job of the baggage handler is to load and unload luggage on and off the plane in an effective and efficient manner. Employees tend to work for the airports, airlines and ground handling companies with over 5,000 employed throughout the UK.
Passenger Service Supervisor
Managing the service staff that are in contact with the general public every day. The supervisor organises and ensures the smooth running of check in staff, ticket desk clerks and information desk employees.
Load Planning Officer( Aircraft)
A load planning officers job involves the efficiency of the aircraft in terms of safety and economics so the aircraft can get airborne, fly and land. They determine the best seating arrangements fro passengers and load balancing of the cargo. Training is usually carried out within a working environment and can involve gaining recognised qualifications such as NVQ in Planning Aircraft payloads, level 3. Job prospect can include moving to post such as Load Planning Manager, Flight Operation Officer or Airport Duty Manager.
Passenger Check In Officer
The role of the passenger check in officer is to check in passengers and luggage for there flights. The job involves dealing with passenger queries, examining travelers documents including passports and tickets, assigning seats, supplying boarding cards, weighing the baggage of travelers and attaching tickets and ask security questions.
Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers are in constant touch with aircraft to ensure the safe movement of the plane during flight, giving advice on height, speed and route. Located either in the control centre, air traffic tower or on the ground guiding the aircraft in and out of the airport, upon landing and to the Terminal . Depending on the airport the job can be extremely busy with planes coming every minute.
Flight Operators Officer/Manager
Flight operations Managers are in charge of the operations operational control centre. Officers gather detailed flight data including weather and airport details and keeps the pilot informed.
Sector – Security
To apply for this role you would need to have a security guard license if working in England, Scotland or Wales. The job role involves the security of airport buildings valuables, and passengers throughout the journey.
The role of the firefighter in an airport will involve a lot of the same type of training, to minimise the risk of death and injury and damage to property including aircraft in crisis situations. Where the first priority will always be to save life. However working at the airport, they may have trained all of there lives and may not encounter any incidents. In the event of a crash, the job of the firefighter is then taken to the extreme with people trapped in a burning aircraft.
Sector – Catering and hospitality
Fast Food Service Assistant
The role involves the serving of meals, drinks and snacks to customers. Depending on the size and type of shop you may also be required to prepare hot and cold food. Heathrow has a wide diversity of eating establishments including TGI Friday’s, Starbucks, apostrophe sandwich shop etc.
Sector – Transport and logistics
The role involves coordinating how goods are transferred, imported and exported to local and international destinations.
Air Cabin Crew
The role of the air cabin crew is to make sure that passengers are safe, secure and comfortable throughout the flight. In constant contact with the passengers they serve the in-flight meals, refreshments and duty free goods during the journey. Hours will not suit everyone with shifts and days being worked, that vary depending on the destination.
Sector Personal and other services
The role of the cleaner within an airport environment will depend on your employer who is usually contracted to clean either the airport terminal building or the aircraft with tasks that include cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, cleaning of washrooms . The use of heavy floor cleaning equipment may also be required. An aircraft cleaner is required to clean the aircraft after a plane has landed and before it takes off again, which usually requires a quick turnaround.
Sector – Transport and logistics
Chauffeurs at Heathrow work for the local transport companies usually providing a service for corporate and celebrity clients. Responsibilities include driving, maintaining and cleaning the car for an employer or they can be luxury car owner drivers. The job will involve opening and closingdoors, carrying luggage, wearing a suit and you would need a clean driving licence with a good knowledge of London. Shift work would be required. Personal skills needed for the job would be to be able to communicate well, punctual, discrete and polite.
Sector – Building and Construction
Due to the continued expansion and redevelopment of Heathrow Airport, civil engineers are needed. The role would usually involve working on large construction projection from conception to completion and would include projects such as bridges, tunnels, roads, airports, pipelines and power supply systems.
Sector – Engineer
The main employers of aerospace engineers are airline companies, airline manufacturers and the armed forces. The role involves the research, design and manufacture of aircraft and space vehicles. Working on the Aircraft frames, hydraulics and pneumatics, engines and fuel systems, and on materials and structures. For some employers work would also be required on communications systems for aircraft, missiles, satellites and spacecraft.
Sector – Transport and logistics
An airline pilot is in charge of the aircraft and are in charge over the rest of the workers on the plane and the safety of the passengers and aircraft and smooth running of the aircraft. The number of pilots operating the airline will depend on the size of the airplane and the distance it a has to fly, it may be 2, 3 or 4.
Employers are from a range of sectors with the more well known being airlines operators offering scheduled, chartered and freight services and one of the biggest employers is the business aviation sector which includes private aircraft, flying schools, transport of oil and gas.
Sector – Building and construction
To enable the construction of Terminals a Dry Liner is responsible for installing suspended ceilings and partitions user plasterboard and fixings, used to segregate areas, hide wiring improve acoustics. A dry Liner may be also responsible for applying the finished plaster coat to the surface in preparation before decorating.
Sector – Engineering
Security System Installer
Heathrow airport security is always being updated to keep up with current technology, including intruder detection systems, CCTV, Xray and screening machines. Hiring of personnel is usually through a 3rd party contractor who is approved by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or by the (SSAIB) Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board. After initial installation is complete regular maintenance is required to keep the equipment running correctly.
Sector – Security
Civil Enforcement Officer
The role of a civil enforcement officer is to ensure that parking restriction are adhered to, monitoring parking zones and meters. It may involve issuing fines, checking disabled badges and wearing a uniform. Jobs are usually available through contracted companies employed to run the parking around Heathrow.
Sector – Manufacturing and Production
Typically a fabricator working at an airport will work on behalf of a contacted company to manufacture, assemble, install structural frames of buildings. The role will usually involve using electric or gas welding and soldering, brazing work following safety rules and procedures to ensure building is contructed to conform with the laws of the land without incidents.
One of the most important roles within the airline industry is the mechanic who ensures that the aircraft is regularly maintained, running correctly and in safe condition. Depending on the department you are assigned to/trained for will determine the work undertaken which includes airframe mechanics, power plant technicians, instrument repairmen, and aviation technicians. A licence is needed to be considered for the role which can be obtained through extensive training and exams, although occasionally you may be enter the trade through apprenticeships or start off as an assistant.
Sector – Transport and logostics
Bus Coach driver
Opportunities for Bus/Coaches drivers are either bases at Heathrow airport, transferring passengers between the terminals or externally on the local bus and Hoppa service between Hotels and local area. Alternatively long distance coach drivers transport travelers from cities throughout the UK to the airport or short mini bus travelers work for local taxi firms.
Sector – Science, Mathematics and Statistics
A Metallurgists within the airline industry are responsible for what the aircraft is made of and how it is effected during flights and the stresses put upon them also how they react to different weather conditions and the metals perform. They would also be able to determine the cause of metal failure in the event of a crash