When training and aviation become one

Aeromag’s Changemakers October 25, 2023
The Portraits of Changemakers series focuses on visionary individuals who work at Aeromag and who, every day, demonstrate a willingness to make a difference in the world. Among them is Maxime Daoust, the Training Manager at our Montreal (YUL) and Mirabel (YMX) stations.

This is Maxime’s sixth season at Aeromag and his third as a training manager. Like most of our employees, he started out as a deicing technician. He was soon promoted to Bay Lead. “It required a little more responsibility,” Maxime explains. That experience in key positions would later serve him well as a Training Manager. “You get to see all the impacts of the decisions you make from a technician’s perspective.”

From technician to trainer

As soon as his second season, he wanted to share his knowledge with the recruits and started giving hands-on training on the field (or rather on the tarmac). “This part of my career was such a thrill!” It must be said that aviation and training are two areas of expertise that have been part of Maxime’s life for a long time. Long before joining Aeromag, Maxime was in the Air Cadets at age 12. “I learned the basics of training with the Air Cadets. He made his debut as a trainer at age 15 and as an adult, he became a civilian instructor and taught young cadets aged 12 to 18.

Now 33 years old, Maxime is responsible for training at the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and Mirabel International Airport (YMX). In addition to supervising theoretical and practical training, he must also ensure that airlines’ standards and procedures are respected. “I check that all the paperwork is up to date!” One thing is certain, working in an airport is very stimulating for Maxime.

“I’ve always found it to be an impressive environment. Working around airplanes, with the engines running, is amazing.”

A rewarding job

A career at Aeromag involves learning many new things, including how to love winter. “When you see heavily contaminated aircraft coming in, those are the days you have the most fun! Snow days are the best days at Aeromag.” It’s during these winter storms that one realizes how essential deicing is to the smooth operation of the industry. “Without us, the planes probably wouldn’t be able to take off on those days. It motivates us to see that we have such a big impact on airport operations, especially because Quebec winters are a handful! [laughs]”

For Maxime, the most rewarding part of his job is seeing the evolution of new recruits who know nothing about aviation when they enter his class. “After 32 hours of theoretical training, people who had no knowledge of aviation are now ready to go through the practical training and take part in an operation. I think it’s a great success!”

Shared values

In Maxime’s opinion, adaptation and flexibility are essential to work at Aeromag. “You have to be able to react to different types of situations in order to deliver high-quality work at all times.” Among the company’s values, efficiency, safety and social responsibility particularly resonate with the Training Manager. Maxime was one of the first to drive the Elephant® e-BETA, an electric deicing truck.

“Along with the environmental footprint and glycol recovery, I think this is one of Aeromag’s great prides.”

Maxime is also proud to see how much the Quebec-based company has grown since it was founded in 1994, and now operates 16 stations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. “I travel a bit for work and it’s impressive to see how well-known Aeromag is in the aviation industry. I’m happy to be able to put my hand to the wheel every day to generate results.”

Maxime’s passion for aviation and training is a perfect match, but he’s not the only changemaker to influence Aeromag’s journey! Meet Mathieu Talbot, a former employee whose deicing experience made him a better pilot.